Factors influencing water conservation behaviour amongst low-income communities in South Africa
Keywords:Theory of reasoned action, water conservation behaviour, attitude, low-income communities
While economic incentives, technical developments, and government policies and regulations can all contribute to reduce residential water use, householders, on the other hand, can also help lessen overall water demands by using less water. In this study, we look at how to modify people's behaviour to conserve water at home. Using the theory of reasoned action which suggest human behaviour is a construct of subjective norms, and attitude, this study aimed to identify the factors that influences water conservation behaviour in low-income households in South Africa South Africa. The study focused on the Waterloo Township, which is located north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. This study followed a positive paradigm and employed a descriptive cross-sectional research design and a quantitative survey design with a sample of (n=305). Both descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyze and present the data. Path analysis using regression coefficient was performed to establish the factors that predict water conservation behaviour. The results suggest that although the knowledge of water conservation was high among the respondents, there was however a negative gap difference (-20.3) between their knowledge (94.4%) and actual behaviour (74.1%) towards water saving techniques. The regression analysis conducted revealed that subject norms were the strongest predictor towards water conservation intentions in the Waterloo LCH. This conclusively suggest that the conceptualisation of water conservation behaviour as a function of attitude and subjective norm may be appropriate in the context of the low-cost housing areas within South Africa.
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