Publications

Public Perception of Water Consumption and Its Effects on Water Conservation Behavior

Fan, L.X.; Wang, F.; Liu, G.B.; Yang, X.; Qin, W.

Summary

The usual perception of consumers regarding water consumption is that their bills do not match their actual water consumption. However, this mismatch has been insufficiently studied; particularly for cases related to specific water-use patterns, water conservation practices, and user socio-demographics. In this study, a total of 776 households in 16 villages situated in the rural Wei River Basin are investigated to address the gap in the literature. Questionnaires and 3-day water diaries are used for data collection and comparison. Results show that significant relations exist between perceived water consumption and actual water consumption. Participants have different perceptions of specific water-use patterns. Participants tend to underestimate their outdoor and kitchen water consumption and overestimate their indoor water consumption. Females and elder consumers accurately estimate their water consumption, whereas consumers with high education levels and incomes underestimate their actual water consumption. The groups who can accurately estimate water consumption have better water conservation consciousness and water conservation practices than those who underestimate their water consumption. The huge disparities highlighted by the results suggest that community policies and programs to improve public water conservation consciousness or practices must be implemented to enhance consumer understanding of water consumption.