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Residential Water Consumption: A Cross Country Analysis

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  • Grafton, R. Quentin
  • Kompas, Tom
  • To, Hang
  • Ward, Michael B.

Abstract

Survey data from over 1,600 households in ten countries were used to analyse the determinants of residential water demand. Results show that in every country the price elasticity is negative and statistically significant. Households that do not have to pay for the water they use (volumetric water charges) consume about a third more water than similar households that do have to pay such charges. Consumers’ attitudes do not have a statistically significant effect on total water use, although they do increase the probability of households using some water saving behaviours. Volumetric water charges also have an impact on the adoption of water saving actions. Full-cost water pricing appears to be a highly effective instrument to manage residential water demand.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub in its series Research Reports with number 94823.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:eerhrr:94823

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Keywords: water demand; water consumption; water pricing; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; C21; Q25; Q50;

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  1. Russell Davidson & James G. MacKinnon, 1981. "Tests for Model Specification in the Presence of Alternative Hypotheses: Some Further Results," Working Papers 430, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. R. Quentin Grafton & Michael B. Ward, 2008. "Prices versus Rationing: Marshallian Surplus and Mandatory Water Restrictions," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 84(s1), pages S57-S65, 09.
  3. Sheila Olmstead & W. Michael Hanemann & Robert N. Stavins, 2007. "Water Demand Under Alternative Price Structures," NBER Working Papers 13573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Arbues, Fernando & Garcia-Valinas, Maria Angeles & Martinez-Espineira, Roberto, 2003. "Estimation of residential water demand: a state-of-the-art review," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 81-102, March.
  5. Ida Ferrara, 2008. "Residential Water Use," OECD Journal: General Papers, OECD Publishing, vol. 2008(2), pages 153-180.
  6. Hendry, David F., 1995. "Dynamic Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283164.
  7. Renwick, Mary E. & Green, Richard D., 2000. "Do Residential Water Demand Side Management Policies Measure Up? An Analysis of Eight California Water Agencies," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 37-55, July.
  8. Céline Nauges & Alban Thomas, 2000. "Privately Operated Water Utilities, Municipal Price Negotiation, and Estimation of Residential Water Demand: The Case of France," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 76(1), pages 68-85.
  9. Mary E. Renwick & Sandra O. Archibald, 1998. "Demand Side Management Policies for Residential Water Use: Who Bears the Conservation Burden?," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 74(3), pages 343-359.
  10. Henry S. Foster, Jr. & Bruce R. Beattie, 1981. "On the Specification of Price in Studies of Consumer Demand under Block Price Scheduling," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 57(4), pages 624-629.
  11. Jasper M. Dalhuisen & Raymond J. G. M. Florax & JHenri L. F. de Groot & Peter Nijkamp, 2003. "Price and Income Elasticities of Residential Water Demand: A Meta-Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 79(2), pages 292-308.
  12. Michael L. Nieswiadomy & David J. Molina, 1989. "Comparing Residential Water Demand Estimates under Decreasing and Increasing Block Rates Using Household Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 65(3), pages 280-289.
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Cited by:
  1. Aisbett, Emma & Steinhauser, Ralf, 2011. "Does anybody give a dam? The importance of public awareness for urban water conservation during drought," Research Reports 107850, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.

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