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The prestige of sustainable living: implications for water use in Australia
Article first published online: 1 MAY 2013
© 2013 The Authors. The Geographical Journal © 2013 Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
The Geographical Journal
Volume 180, Issue 2, pages 161–174, June 2014
How to Cite
Pearce, M., Willis, E., Mamerow, L., Jorgensen, B. and Martin, J. (2014), The prestige of sustainable living: implications for water use in Australia. The Geographical Journal, 180: 161–174. doi: 10.1111/geoj.12016
- Issue published online: 16 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 1 MAY 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: DEC 2013
- The Australian Research Council
- SA Water
- water conservation;
- sustainable living;
The paper outlines water conservation behaviours and assesses the level of congruity between the stated water use of householders against their actual metered consumption. A profile of high water users in three parts of South Australia is offered: two metropolitan areas differing in socio-economic characteristics and a regional town. The research used a postal questionnaire, a follow-up telephone interview and corresponding household water meter readings. Location, household size and annual household income have significant predictive qualities for high per capita water use. The number of times gardens were watered in a week, watering the garden more often than was permitted under the restrictions, and the manner in which conservation behaviours were carried out helped predict high per capita water use. Participants had an accurate idea of the magnitude of their water use and how it compared with that of other households. High water users knew that they were high consumers of water. Implications of the findings for water demand management are briefly outlined.