The objectives of this project are to understand and document the social and historical processes of domestic water use in Australian cities, in order to better inform future policy and interventions. Specifically this project will uncover existing social practices around water use and recommend points of connection so that we can both challenge high water use social norms and mobilise social contagion for positive change.

This is a multi-disciplinary study that brings together urban history, a large-scale representative survey and targeted focus groups to map historical and contemporary urban water use cultures and practices in order to better understand how and why we use water the way we do, and to use this information and evidence to better inform future policy agendas.


Key outcomes

The main outcomes will be a typology of water use cultures and contexts – including information about community values, ideals and perceived risks and recommendations for the development of effective and socially acceptable water sensitive interventions.

Researchers have produced a report providing a historical analysis of water use in Australian households from 1788 – 2014 that identifies the social, physical, institutional, and cultural factors that have influenced water use during this period. The project also aims to deliver advice on understanding types of people and how to influence their water behaviours and decision-making.

Last updated: 7th Jun 2016