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This project had two goals: to explain variation in residential water consumption and to evaluate methods of encouraging residents to reduce their consumption. Survey data for both studies were collected by mail questionnaire in early 1991, and water consumption figures were recorded between June and August of that year. In Study 1 (n = 264) a three-variable regression model (number of residents, clothes washing machine loads, and property value) accounted for 60% of the variance. Attitudes, habits and values were very poor predictors of water consumption. In Study 2 (n =226) households were divided into three treatment groups: feedback only, feedback and dissonance, and a control group. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed that high consumers receiving dissonance and feedback or feedback alone had significantly reduced their water consumption in the treatment period. The implications of these findings are discussed.