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Can workshops on household water use impact consumer behavior?
Date:1/31/2014

shops, and then compared water use data from workshop participants with the water use of households that did not participate in the workshop. They found "statistically significant reduction in water use" only in the month of the workshop. "Although the workshop has an impact on water use, this impact is very short-lived," noted Borisova. "For workshop participants and nonparticipants, water use returns to the base level immediately in the months following the workshop." The authors added that reinforcement of the educational message received during the workshop is probably required to sustain water-use reductions over time.

The team also found that the effect of workshop attendance depended on the sample of the households considered. For example, in the subsample of the low water-use households, water use tended to increase following the workshop. "The overall objective of the workshop was to improve the irrigation efficiency by reducing water wastes. However, households with low average water use may already be technically efficient, and workshop attendance cannot reduce their irrigation water use further without negatively affecting the yard aesthetics and plant health," explained Borisova.

Borisova and Useche recommend development of a comprehensive evaluation approach for water use programs that includes evaluation of actual water use reductions in order to more accurately quantify program impact, design more effective educational programs, and better target the programs to consumers.


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Contact: Mike W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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