Cross-country evidence for social dimensions of urban water consumption during droughts

John Milton Asprilla Echeverría*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A systematic literature review is carried out to understand the social dimensions driving the adoption of water saving behaviors in urban households. Salient aspects of the problem correspond to price elasticity of water demand, citizens’ awareness of water value and water conservation intentions, the management of which is generally tackled through water price and non-price approaches. However, the evidence falls short to explain the social drivers and inhibitors of stable water consumption reductions. After reviewing 65 papers documenting research conducted in North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Middle East, Mexico, China and Japan, a series of categories of analysis drawn from the literature are introduced as the social factors that influence water conservation reduction. Although the brink of the state of the art mentions the existence of an intention – behavior gap, sustainability requires further aspirations than short-term water consumption reduction by households. The long-term challenges of sustainability require the understanding of intention – behavior – stable reduction gaps. Further research is needed to fill this double gap. Understanding the determinants and insights behind the dissipation (or stabilization) of water consumption reductions through time are certainly rich areas of analysis for the social sciences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number120895
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
I am indebted to Professors Bart van Hoof and Wim Hafkamp for encouragement, comments and suggestions in preparing this article. This work was supported by the Department of Science and Technology of Colombia through the research scholarship grant number 789?2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020

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