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Everyday Water: cultures in transition

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In this paper we will present the Everyday Water project as a case study of recent cultural research on domestic water use and its application to natural resource policy and practice. This project is innovative not only because it is a research partnership between a development company and a university but also because of the cultural research approach the project brings to the issue of water resource sustainability and management. The Everyday Water project moves away from thinking of water as a discrete resource or utility, and instead understands its consumption in terms of shifting definitions and uses of services, cultural traditions, and the intersection of everyday practices and expectations with socio-technical systems. The findings so far indicate that while people are prepared to take some DIY measures to save water while they are ‘stuck' within current socio-technical systems, many can imagine alternatives, and would be prepared to do more with improved knowledge, better leadership, fewer obstacles, and more incentives to bring about a shift to a different kind of water culture.
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Keywords: Water culture; domestic water consumption; everyday life; garden; suburb

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Western Sydney, Australia

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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