Survey data from over 1,600 households in ten countries were used to analyse the determinants of residential water demand. Results show that in every country the price elasticity is negative and statistically significant. Households that do not have to pay for the water they use (volumetric water charges) consume about a third more water than similar households that do have to pay such charges. Consumers’ attitudes do not have a statistically significant effect on total water use, although they do increase the probability of households using some water saving behaviours. Volumetric water charges also have an impact on the adoption of water saving actions. Full-cost water pricing appears to be a highly effective instrument to manage residential water demand.


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