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WWRC 97-05ss
Effectiveness of Residential Water Conservation Price and Non-Price Programs in Urban Areas in the Western U.S.


Municipal water conservation in the western U.S. is receiving increased attention by water managers, the public, professional organizations and the media as a means to balance water supplies and demand at reasonable costs. Both recurrent drought and projected long term demand-supply problems necessitate that municipal water suppliers plan for water conservation. However, the effects of conservation programs such as multi-part tariffs and uniform or inclining block rate structures upon residential water use in different regions is not well understood even though there is an extensive body of literature dealing with these questions. Further, the synergistic effects of price and non-price programs and persistence of program effects are not well studied and there is very little research literature that addresses these issues.

This report describes research conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of residential water conservation price and non-price programs in urban areas of the western U.S. The study encompasses seven cities in three states over a fifteen year period from 1980 through 1995. Additional information on the study areas and database documentation are provided in a separate report entitled Residential Water Consumption, Rate and Non-Price Conservation Program Database (1996) available through the AWWARF and The Powell Consortium (http:/wm.nmsu.edu/powell/).

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