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Understanding the behavioral influences behind Singapore's water management strategies

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This paper aims to uncover the key behavioral influences behind two of Singapore's most successful water management strategies: (1) their high public acceptance rate of reclaimed water (marketed as ‘NEWater’), and (2) the adoption of targeted domestic water conservation behaviors. We used the Theory of Planned Behavior framework to construct a household survey that was mailed to a national sample (n = 218) obtained from the Singapore Department of Statistics. Our descriptive and path analysis results indicate that 74% of Singaporeans generally approve of NEWater, and that a positive attitude toward this municipal water technology was the most significant variable in predicting respondents' level of approval. In terms of water conservation, the most widely adopted behaviors were fixing water leaks promptly (80.8%) and monitoring water bills (80.3%). We discuss how knowledge of these key behavioral influencers can make behavior change campaigns more effective both in Singapore and other countries.
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Keywords: pro-environmental behavior; theory of planned behavior; urban sustainability; water conservation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Delos, Washington, DC, USA 2: Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL, USA

Publication date: August 24, 2018

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