2nd UF Water Institute Symposium Abstract

Submitter's Name Melissa Baum Haley
Session Name Poster Session: Human Dimensions of Water Sustainability 1
Category Human dimensions of water sustainability
Poster Number 102
Author(s) Melissa Baum Haley,  ABE, University of Florida
  Michael Dukes,  ABE, University of Florida
  Survey of Residential Water-wise Irrigation Practices and Perceptions
  Much research has been conducted proving the effectiveness of technology in reduction of lawn/landscape water use. However, studies are primarily conducted in controlled or semi-controlled settings. When attempting to incorporate recommendations into residential arenas, savings are not as significant. In order to effectively change behavior, factors that contribute to perceived attitudes of homeowners must be considered. A mail-out questionnaire was used to determine public awareness, if/why watering restrictions are followed, and influence of water source. Approximately one thousand survey packets were mailed following the Multi-wave Method. The final response rate was 25%, yielding 272 completed and usable questionnaires, evenly distributed amongst the three water sources designations (potable, reclaimed, and well). Each respondent was offered an incentive, to be sent, of either an indoor or outdoor water conservation kit. By analyzing the irrigation practices, the questionnaire can be utilized to determine an irrigation proficiency level. In terms of the measurability of pro-environmental competency, the inference of proficiency level can be attained by regression model and factor analysis. Questionnaire responses were evaluated using SAS. The results presented here represent the survey analysis and the following significant barriers and benefits were identified: Misunderstanding of plant water needs; seasonal scheduling, Terminology in reference to rain shutoff device, Conservation relating to water source, Reliability of rain shutoff device, Expressed room for improvement and interest learning, and Influence of property value or property size.