Predicting Water Consumption From Homeowners' Attitudes

Geoffrey J. Syme
Clive Seligman
John F. Thomas

DOI: 10.2190/FNV4-VCV2-L1T9-4R62


Previous research has failed to find a significant correlation between attitudes and water consumption. We believe this result has occurred because the earlier studies measured attitudes during drought conditions and used self-report measures that are unreliable. The present research studied a sample of 333 households in Perth, Australia, measured the homeowners' attitudes during a drought-free period, and collected actual, household water consumption data for an entire year. The results showed that attitudes pertaining to the importance of the garden as a house investment and a source of recreation were significant predictors of water use, as were homeowners' attitudes toward the current cost of water. The results are consistent with other research that shows that specific attitudes are correlated with resource consumption. The respondents' attitudes toward the economic implications of their water consumption were discussed with regard to conservation appeals.

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