OC water district funds two-year water conservation research project
The Moulton Niguel Water District of California has awarded a $184,000 grant to two environmental economists at the University of California, Riverside, to evaluate what motivates homeowners to reduce water use and which water conservation programs are most cost-effective.
RIVERSIDE, CA, June 26, 2015 -- The Moulton Niguel Water District (MNWD) of California has awarded a $184,000 grant to two environmental economists at the University of California, Riverside, in an effort to evaluate what motivates homeowners to reduce water use and which water conservation programs are most cost-effective.
The two-year study, "Analysis of Water Conservation Drivers for Effective Water Management," will focus on current district incentives to conserve water such as turf removal, installation of synthetic turf and purchase of high-efficiency/front-load washers and high-efficiency/low-flow toilets.
Researchers Kurt Schwabe and Ken Baerenklau -- both associate professors of environmental economics and policy in the UCR School of Public Policy -- will identify agency, household, environmental, and community-level factors that influence water-conservation decisions and outcomes among single-family residential households in the Orange County water district.
Further, the team will analyze current and historical water use and conservation data, survey MNWD customers about their attitudes toward conservation programs and adoption of conservation technologies, and assess how different conservation programs influence water conservation practices.
The researchers will also determine the amount of water saved through these programs compared to voluntary conservation without these incentives and will compare conservation program revenue effects and operating costs.