Urban Water Restrictions: Unbundling Motivations, Compliance and Policy Viability
The welfare costs of urban water restrictions are now well recognised, even if not yet quantified with precision (see, for example, Edwards 2008). Notwithstanding the costs that attend this form of intervention, governments have proven reluctant to abandon them, at least until additional infrastructure is in place. Accordingly, some form of behavioural constraint over the use of water is now applied in almost every major urban centre in Australia. Against this background there is value in understanding the motivations for individuals to comply with water restrictions. There is also much to be gained from developing an appreciation of the preferences for different restriction regimes. There is also scope to address wider politico-economic considerations as part of this analysis. This paper considers some of these issues by presenting the results of a choice modelling and contingent valuation study drawing data from New South Wales and Victoria. The study also embodies data from water-rich and water-poor communities in metropolitan and regional settings.
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