The effect of local water scarcity and drought on water conservation behaviors Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This study examines the influence of observed local water scarcity on individual water conservation behaviors. We examine three distinct sets dependent variables measuring water conservation behaviors that require differing levels of individual investment. These variables measure behaviors that require no financial investment (such as shorter showers), minimal financial investment (low-flow fixtures), and larger financial investment (new appliances). We use a multilevel statistical regression to determine if a relationship exists between local levels of drought and individual water conservation behavior. Our primary finding is that individuals who live in counties that experience drought have a higher tendency to make behavioral changes to conserve water and make small financial investments to conserve water. We find no relationship between local water scarcity and larger financial investments to conserve water. Overall, results suggest that individuals’ environmental behaviors may be closely connected to their local environmental context as long as significant financial investment is not required.

altmetric score

  • 3.85

author list (cited authors)

  • Hannibal, B., Sansom, L., & Portney, K. E.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • September 2018