Price and behavioural signals to encourage household water conservation: Implications for the UK

Lu, Liang, Deller, David and Hviid, Morten (2019) Price and behavioural signals to encourage household water conservation: Implications for the UK. Water Resources Management, 33 (2). pp. 475-491. ISSN 0920-4741

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Water scarcity is a global concern. Even in non-drought situations the political and economic costs of developing water resources may favour conservation. Using a single high price to constrain demand raises distributional and political challenges. Increasing block tariffs (IBTs) have been proposed as a solution, balancing incentives for conservation with an equitable distribution of costs across households. Our survey indicates the international evidence on using IBTs to conserve water is mixed, highlighting the operational challenges of implementing effective IBTs. An alternative approach that may side-step affordability concerns are non-price conservation interventions. Robust evidence on behavioural interventions to conserve water is limited, although social comparisons appear effective. Nevertheless, existing price and behavioural interventions have typically been implemented in response to droughts, thus caution is needed when generalising this evidence to non-drought situations. We discuss the applicability of IBTs to the UK, highlighting an essential pre-condition is detailed research to understand a locality’s water consumers and their water demand.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural interventions,increasing block tariffs,water conservation,civil and structural engineering,water science and technology,sdg 6 - clean water and sanitation,sdg 10 - reduced inequalities ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2200/2205
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: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 11:30
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2024 01:34
DOI: 10.1007/s11269-018-2133-z


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