Price and Behavioural Signals to Encourage Household Water Conservation in Temperate Climates

Lu, Liang, Deller, David ORCID: and Hviid, Morten (2018) Price and Behavioural Signals to Encourage Household Water Conservation in Temperate Climates.

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Water scarcity is a global concern. Even in non-drought environments the political and economic costs of developing water resources may favour water conservation. Using a single high price to constrain demand raises distributional and political challenges. Increasing block tariffs (IBTs) have been proposed as a potential solution, balancing incentives for water conservation with an equitable distribution of costs across households. An alternative approach that may side-step affordability concerns is to use non-price conservation interventions. We survey the literature on IBTs and behavioural interventions (a subset of non-price interventions) to assess their effectiveness, thereby highlighting the operational challenges of implementing effective IBTs. Robust evidence on behavioural interventions is limited, although, social comparisons appear to be effective for conservation. We discuss the implications of the evidence for the UK, a country with a temperate climate. We note that existing interventions have been typically implemented in response to drought situations, so one may question the validity of existing evidence for designing interventions in non-drought situations. We suggest an essential first step before implementing an IBT is research to understand a locality’s water consumers and their water demand. That many UK households have an unmetered water supply presents challenges both for gaining this understanding of demand and producing an evidence base around behavioural interventions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sdg 6 - clean water and sanitation,sdg 10 - reduced inequalities ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/clean_water_and_sanitation
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Law
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Centres > Centre for Competition Policy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Research Centres > Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (former - to 2023)
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Competition, Markets and Regulation
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Media, Information Technology and Intellectual Property Law
Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Responsible Business Regulation Group
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 15:07

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