Building an Interdisciplinary Research Program in Water Conservation: Approach, preliminary findings, and next steps

David E. Rosenberg, Utah State University
Joanna Endter-Wada, Utah State University
Arthur J. Caplan, Utah State University
Diana T. Glenn, Utah State University
Guy Ballard
Katie Henderson, Utah State University


Effective urban water conservation programs must harness a synergy of new technologies, public policies, social cost pricing, information dissemination, citizen engagement, and coordinated actions across decision making scales. Together, these factors affect the volume of water an individual user ultimately saves and the overall success of a conservation program or programs. Over the past 18 months, we have started building an interdisciplinary research program in urban water conservation to quantify and assess the effects of these interconnected factors to motivate citizen engagement. We have interviewed water utility managers and conservation coordinators across the state of Utah, held focus groups with different water user groups, and tested our ability to recruit households into a future, multi-year water conservation study.