Technical Papers

Water Source as a Driver of Landscape Irrigation Conservation Behavior: A Statewide Florida Study

Abstract

Using the water source as a factor, a typology of residential irrigation water users was developed by segmenting 3,310 Floridians who used irrigation by their irrigation water source (i.e., well water, reclaimed water, and city water). Based on three years of survey data, there was a moderate association between living in a homeowners’ association and using city or reclaimed water for irrigation. There was an association between the water source and engagement in nine conservation behaviors. Well water users were less likely to use recycled water, use a rain sensor, calibrate their sprinklers, and use smart irrigation controls. Reclaimed water users were more likely to use recycled water and use a rain sensor and also less likely to have retrofitted a portion of the landscape so that it is not irrigated and have turned off zones or capped irrigation heads for established plants. City water users had the strongest personal and social norms surrounding water conservation, although this did not translate into conservation as the theory indicates it should have. The findings reveal that identifying the irrigation water source can provide meaningful insights into outdoor water use and should be integrated into residential water conservation interventions.