Title page for ETD etd-01062003-181934

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cartwright, Lauren Ashley
Author's Email Address Lauren.A.Cartwright@WRC01.USACE.ARMY.MIL
URN etd-01062003-181934
Title The Influence of Conservation Programs on Residential Water Demand: Synthesis and Analysis for Shared Vision Planning in the Rappahannock River Basin
Degree Master of Science
Department Agricultural and Applied Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stephenson, Stephen Kurt Committee Chair
Cox, William E. Committee Member
Schneller, Meir I. Committee Member
Shabman, Leonard A. Committee Member
  • Shared Vision Modeling
  • Shared Vision Planning
  • Residential Water Demand
  • Water Conservation
Date of Defense 2002-11-17
Availability unrestricted
The Rappahannock River Basin Commission is undergoing a collaborative water supply planning process for Virginia’s Rappahannock River Basin. Participants in the planning process have indicated an interest in technical information about the possible impact conservation programs may have on reducing residential water demand. The potential influence of conservation programs is identified through a literature synthesis and a statistical analysis of residential water demand for a locality within the basin (Stafford County). In the literature synthesis, conservation programs are classified as voluntary or mandatory. Voluntary programs utilize financial incentives (such as water pricing and rebates) or educational incentives (such as radio ads and bill inserts) to encourage conservation, and mandatory programs utilize regulatory incentives (such as plumbing standards and bans on outdoor water use). The water demand statistical model was estimated to more specifically identify how Stafford residential water customers respond to water pricing/rate structure changes (financial incentives), imposition of federal regulations on plumbing standards (regulatory incentives), and a voluntary conservation program utilizing educational incentives. The results indicate that while many studies have found residential customers are responsive to price changes, Stafford residential water users have not significantly changed their water demand in response to price/rate structure changes. Previous literature also suggests federal plumbing standards potentially have a significant impact on water demand. The influence of new plumbing standards in the Stafford demand model was inconclusive and warrants further analysis. Consistent with the literature, voluntary conservation programs utilizing educational incentives alone did not substantially alter residential water demand in Stafford County.
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