Urban stormwater run-off is a threat to stream ecosystems. New approaches to stormwater management aim to protect urban streams from such impacts, by retaining, treating and using stormwater at its source. As up to ∼50% of runoff from urban surfaces comes from private property, fostering stormwater retention requires effective householder engagement. We evaluated householder participation in the Little Stringybark Creek project, a stormwater retrofit programme aimed at waterway protection, using qualitative enquiry through formal and informal interviews to identify factors that influenced participation. Participation was governed by multiple factors, with financial incentives and personal co-benefits of tanks primary motivators, while process complexity and distrust were primary barriers. Results suggest an approach combining education to encourage review of subjective norms and attitudes, with incentives to mitigate behavioural controls can transform public behaviour towards sustainable stormwater management.


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