Should We “Shame” Users Into Reducing Water Consumption

Feb. 8, 2014

Vista, CA – In Northern California, a unique program to help reduce water consumption and use water more efficiently is proving to be more successful than anticipated.

Developed by the  California Water Foundation (CWF) and the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) , the pilot program allows users to see how their water use compares to their neighbors living in similar homes and circumstances.

Politely referred to as the “behavioral water efficiency” program, but sometimes referred to as the “shame” program, it finds that when consumers find out how their water use compares with their neighbors, water consumption overall declines by five percent 

“The research shows that people are motivated to conserve water when you let them know that their water use exceeds that of similar homes,” says Lester Snow, Executive Director of CWF. “[This program] could prove [to be] an especially helpful tool for

California utilities which face state requirements to reduce their per capita water use by 20 percent by 2020. 

It can have some more immediate benefits as well, according to Klaus Reichardt, CEO and Founder of California-based  Waterless Co., Inc.,maker of no-water urinals and related restroom products. “2013 was one of the driest years on record for California and predictions are that 2014 will not be much better.”

Reichardt adds that programs such as this may also encourage consumers, including residential and commercial, to seek out new and innovative ways to use water more efficiently.

“In the past few months, we have definitely seen an ‘uptick’ in information requests for restroom products that use water more efficiently,” he adds. “This is likely not because of the behavioral study (mentioned earlier), but just the realization here in California that water is evolving into a major, long-term issue.”

Satisfied with the results of the study, the EBMUD says it plans to expand the behavioral program. “Our customers are very conservation-minded,” adds Snow. “[This feedback], coupled with water-wise tips…helps our customers manage their water use more effectively.” 

About Waterless

Waterless Co. LLC has established a well-respected reputation as being an innovative manufacturer of no-water urinal systems. Based in Vista, Ca, the 25 year-old company is the oldest manufacturer of waterless urinals in North America. The company’ manufacturers a full line of Waterless No-Flush urinals, cleaning liquids, and cost saving accessories. Visit: www.waterless.com 

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