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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2013)

Social marketing, financial, and regulatory mechanisms for adoption of water conservation and stormwater management practices by single-family households

Youngerman, Zach

Titre : Social marketing, financial, and regulatory mechanisms for adoption of water conservation and stormwater management practices by single-family households

Auteur : Youngerman, Zach (Zach Reuben)

Université de soutenance : Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Grade : M.C.P 2013

Résumé
Since the latter half of the nineteenth century, water delivery and stormwater removal have been managed largely by engineering staff at water utilities, municipal departments and multi-jurisdiction authorities. In recent decades, a number of factors have challenged the traditional operation of these entities. In arid regions particularly, withdrawals to meet the demands of growing populations have been restricted by environmental and legal limitations. After amendments to the Clean Water Act, municipalities have been charged with improving the quality of stormwater discharged into lakes, rivers, and oceans. Perhaps most formidable have been financial and budgetary constraints. Without the ability to upgrade and even maintain infrastructure through conventional means, agencies and water departments have instead sought to change how people use that infrastructure. While these efforts include land use planning, regulations on new development, and partnerships with industrial, commercial, and institutional stakeholders, this study looks specifically at single-family households. Their high percentage as a portion of the population and the impact of their yards on water resources make them a particularly critical group for involvement in management. Generally, three methods are used, often in tandem, to motivate residents to adopt different behaviors and landscape practices : regulations, which include enforcement ; pricing, including incentives ; and community-based social marketing. This study reviews those methods in the context of water conservation and stormwater management to evaluate how effective they are. Regulations are problematic in both water conservation and stormwater management, in the former because of the need for enforcement, in the latter because most codes were written during a period of centralized management. As for financing mechanisms, the underlying model of pricing is strong, particularly for water. However, for stormwater, the rates are too low to motivate change. Other methods for funding projects, raising revenue and sharing costs have great potential. Community-based social marketing (CBSM) is a powerful methodology grounded in research about audience values and behaviors. Its impact is greatly determined by the relative strength of communities in which it is used and by the level of personal interaction with staff. Coordination among if not unification by water and stormwater departments holds additional potential.

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Page publiée le 16 novembre 2013, mise à jour le 11 octobre 2019