RESIDENTIAL WATER USE AND CONSERVATION: A TEXAS DROUGHT PERSPECTIVE
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A survey of 273 Texas consumers included questions addressing perceived concerns about water resources as well as consumers’ knowledge of the on-going drought throughout the state of Texas. The majority of participants stated that the current drought was worse compared to previous droughts, and that they were concerned about their local water resources being able to continue to provide water. However, 61% of the participants reported that there are not currently any drought restrictions in their area and only five participants knew what system is used to denote drought intensity in the United States. The leading concern expressed about the current drought was the continued availability of water; however the second leading response was one of no concern. Only eleven consumers were concerned about permanent impacts or the possibility of the current drought becoming a long-term event. Global warming/climate change and human behavior were both commonly selected by consumers as reasons contributing to the current drought in Texas, but the history of seasonal drought may temper responses to severe drought conditions. Consumer water use and conservation was investigated across varying household types and was found to be relatively uniform. An investigation into consumer environmental attitudes revealed that the practice of water conservation may be dependent on specific environmental attitudes. Specifically, respondents’ level of perceived consumer effectiveness was identified as an important component in determining household water use behaviors.