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Social factors affecting domestic water consumption in Sydney

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Acton Theatre

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

132 Lennox Crossing

Canberra, ACT 2601

Australia

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Professor Iain Walker from the University of Canberra will present new research on social factors affecting water conservation in Australia.

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Australian cities face regular droughts and heatwaves. Infrastructure investments can help improve water security, but conservation of water remains a cheap and effective approach. This talk will report on insights from a survey of Sydney households that collected information on current practices to save water inside and outside the home. Information was also collected on factors including environmental beliefs, perceptions of social norms, and the likelihood of a range of different behaviours during a heatwave. The findings suggest that conserving water use during heatwaves requires that households know the importance of reducing water consumption, know what actions to take, feel able to take those actions, and are positioned to be able to take those actions. It is especially important that households are aware of the importance of water conservation at peak periods – not just daily use peak periods, but also during heatwaves.

Bio: Professor Iain Walker’s research spans many aspects of social psychology, with a strong emphasis on problems including sustainability, climate change, water and energy conservation, modelling human-ecosystem processes, and prejudice and racism. He is currently a professor of psychology at the University of Canberra, where he has been since early 2017. Prior to moving to Canberra, Iain worked at the CSIRO leading a group of social and environmental psychologists working on sustainability issues, and also served as Research Program Leader of the Social & Economic Sciences Program. He earlier worked at Murdoch University, starting as a lecturer and eventually being promoted to professor, along the way serving as Head of the School of Psychology and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

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Acton Theatre

Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University

132 Lennox Crossing

Canberra, ACT 2601

Australia

View Map

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