Water scarcity has become an increasingly complex problem and urban residential landscapes represent a space where conservation practices can make an impact on this limited resource. Water conservation behavior change campaigns are hindered by a lack of understanding of the social dimensions surrounding residents’ landscape decisions. To better understand this important audience, we conducted a quantitative national research study examining perceived benefits of the home landscape, landscape water conservation practices, and personal characteristics of home irrigation users. We used principal component analysis to create six dimensions of perceived urban landscape benefits: family, recreation and aesthetic; food and grocery; health and environment; social; monetary; and privacy. We used cluster analysis to divide respondents into three segments which we labelled high benefits/high conservation, moderate benefits/mixed conservation, and low benefits/low conservation. We found those who belonged to the high benefits/high conservation segment perceived the greatest benefits from their landscape/outdoor space and had the highest current and future water saving practices compared to the other groups. Conversely, those who belonged to the low benefits/low conservation segment had the lowest current and future water saving practices as compared to other groups. The presence of homeowners’ association rewards was related to greater likelihood of engaging in water conservation practices as the high benefits/high conservation segment had a greater possibility of receiving rewards compared to other two segments. Based on these findings, people who work on urban landscape issues could group their clientele into these segments to develop targeted strategies that can effectively influence water saving practices and behavior change among urban residents.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Soil Science