Exploring the Determinants of Household Water Conservation Behavior: Evidence from the Northern Territory of Australia

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details


The dire impacts of climate change on the planet’s water resources have instigated several types of research that not only stress water conservation from both supply and demand perspectives but also aim to contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. Although water conservation is gaining ascendency as the ideal strategy for water planning and management and, to some extent, has curbed water consumption in certain parts of the world, the decisions, models, and behavior factors guiding water consumption and conservation at the household level are frequently changing and co mplex due to contextual differences in user habits, perceptions, values, water infrastructures, water regulation, policies, and pricing.

Considering the depleting nature of water resources in the Northern Territory as reported in the latest water account report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this study has the objectives of 1) exploring water scarcity perceptions and how these perceptions affect household water consumption and conservation behavior intentions; 2) examining how household norms influence water consumption and conservation behavior intentions; and 3) investigating if an integrated model of the theory of planned behavior (TPB), value belief norm (VBN), and protection motivation theory (PMT) better explain water consumption and conservation behavior intentions than individual models. The proposed research contributes to water conservation literature by extending the PMT and VBN to incorporate background and contextual factors and integrate social and personal norms in predicting water consumption and conservation behavior intentions, respectively. Based on the study findings, recommendations will be made for practitioners and policymakers.

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