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date: 28 February 2024

Behavioral Interventions as Policy Instruments to Manage Household Water Uselocked

Behavioral Interventions as Policy Instruments to Manage Household Water Uselocked

  • Leong ChingLeong ChingInstitute of Water Policy, National University of Singapore
  •  and Swee Kiat TaySwee Kiat TayUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication


Water planners and policy analysts need to pay closer attention to the behavioral aspects of water use, including the use of nonprice measures such as norms, public communications, and intrinsic motivations. Empirical research has shown that people are motivated by normative as well as economic incentives when it comes to water. In fact, this research finds that after exposure to feedback about water use, adding an economic incentive (rebate) for reducing water use holds no additional power. In other cases, nonprice measures can be a way to increase the salience, and subsequently, effectiveness of any adopted pricing mechanisms. We review these empirical findings and locate them within more general literature on normative incentives for behavioral change. Given increasing water scarcity and decreasing water security in cities, policy planners need to make more room for normative incentives when designing rules for proenvironmental behavior.


  • Behavioral Science and Health Education
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Services Administration/Management
  • Public Health Policy and Governance
  • Theory and Methods

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