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Household Water Collection in Canberra


  • Anthony Ryan
  • Clive L Spash
  • Thomas G Measham

    (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)


Policy has traditionally focused on increasing water supply by investing in large scale and centralised projects. The importance of securing water supply necessitates that all options be explored. Research has indicated that demand on water catchments can be substantially decreased when a large proportion of households reuse greywater and/or install rainwater tanks. This paper reports on an internet survey for 354 households in the Australian Capital Territory region. Statistical analyses examined the relationship between socio-economic and psychological variables and the likelihood of the garden being irrigated with greywater and/or rainwater. The results show income, gender, age and education could not differentiate residents who were irrigating their garden with water from a tank from resident who were not. Residents who used tank water on the garden had higher self reported understanding of a range of water supply options. Female participants and lower income residents were more likely to use greywater on their garden. Participants who irrigated the garden with greywater were more likely to judge various water collection and recycling proposals as appropriate. Concerns about water collection and reuse, which have led to some large scale projects being politically unacceptable, were not found to predict the use of tank water or greywater on the garden.

Suggested Citation

  • Anthony Ryan & Clive L Spash & Thomas G Measham, 2009. "Household Water Collection in Canberra," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2009-06, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
  • Handle: RePEc:cse:wpaper:2009-06

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Quiggin, John, 2006. "Urban water supply in Australia: the option of diverting water from irrigation," Risk and Sustainable Management Group Working Papers 149857, University of Queensland, School of Economics.
    2. Alba, Joseph W & Hutchinson, J Wesley, 2000. "Knowledge Calibration: What Consumers Know and What They Think They Know," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 123-156, September.
    3. Ryan, Anthony M. & Spash, Clive L., 2008. "Measuring “Awareness of Environmental Consequences”: Two Scales and Two Interpretations," MPRA Paper 101868, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Lucia Reisch & Clive L Spash & Sabine Bietz, 2008. "Sustainable Consumption and Mass Communication: A German Experiment," Socio-Economics and the Environment in Discussion (SEED) Working Paper Series 2008-12, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems.
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    More about this item


    rainwater tank; greywater; economic; psychology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q00 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • R5 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis
    • H00 - Public Economics - - General - - - General
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods

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