Does Anybody Give a Dam? The Importance of Public Awareness for Urban Water Conservation During Drought

EERH Research Report No. 100

Crawford School Research Paper

35 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2011 Last revised: 4 Jul 2013

See all articles by Emma Aisbett

Emma Aisbett

ANU - School of Regulation and Global Governance

Ralf Steinhauser

Universit at Hamburg; Research School of Economics

Date Written: March 1, 2011

Abstract

Demand management has been of interest in dry climates such as Australia, Spain and the Western United States for decades. It is particularly important to understand policy options during drought conditions, as drought periods have a disproportionate effect on supply infrastructure decisions. While water‐conservation campaigns aimed at inducing voluntary consumption reductions are almost universally employed by water managers in times of supply constraint, voluntary measures are generally dismissed in the economics literature as ineffective. We argue that the robust positive correlation between dam levels and consumption after controlling for policy changes suggests that there is a significant component of voluntary conservation. Furthermore, omitting dam levels from regressions may bias estimated impacts of policy changes.

Keywords: water use, demand management, pricing, behavioral aspects

Suggested Citation

Aisbett, Emma and Steinhauser, Ralf, Does Anybody Give a Dam? The Importance of Public Awareness for Urban Water Conservation During Drought (March 1, 2011). EERH Research Report No. 100; Crawford School Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1906962 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1906962

Emma Aisbett (Contact Author)

ANU - School of Regulation and Global Governance ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Ralf Steinhauser

Universit at Hamburg ( email )

Welckerstr. 8,
Hamburg, Hamburg 20354
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wiso.uni-hamburg.de/professuren/vwl-wachstum-umwelt-und-ressourcen/

Research School of Economics ( email )

Arndt Building 25a
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
0261254667 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://rse.anu.edu.au/people/people.php?ID=950

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