Toward an understanding of residential water conservation behaviors on Oahu

Toward an understanding of residential water conservation behaviors on Oahu

National Institute for Water Resources, Water Resources Research Institute Program

3/1/2015 - 2/28/2016

More than half the world’s populations live in urban metropolitan areas with growth in the urban sector forecasted to continue (United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division 2014). On Oahu, population has increased by 191,175 since 1980 and is expected to increase to over 1M by 2020. In some regions of the United States and the world, population growth and conditions of drought have strained water supplies. In Honolulu, present water resources do not appear to be under immediate stress. Estimates of per-capita consumption show a decrease in water use although these estimates vary by urban area. However, future water supply for Honolulu remains unclear given the uncertainties and complex interactions between climate and water use patterns. Existing stressors on water demand including population growth, land use change and urbanization may be exacerbated by climate change. In an effort to secure urban water supply into the future, demand-side management is increasingly important for water utilities, policy-makers, consumer and environmental advocates. While much research surrounding residential water demand has focused on pricing and tariff structures, relatively little attention has focused on conservation behaviors that limit water use. This study proposes to explore socio-economic and attitudinal factors that influence residential water consumption and conservation behaviors among Honolulu households.


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