Busy Backyarders: The Motivations of Citizens Implementing Alternative Outdoor Water Management Practices

(2010 – current)
Naomi Blackburn

Naomi’s PhD research is looking at the way citizens might reshape values, norms and expectations of water management in society (the hydro-social contract). By exploring the motivations behind the adoption of alternative supply technologies, and experimentation with new management practices in household outdoor water use, this research will seek ways to support early adopters and encourage more widespread adoption through policy incentives and identification of barriers to innovative practice.

However, by understanding the water management factors at play at the household scale, this research hopes to explore the role citizens play as drivers of change in the hydro-social contract.  It will do this by situating the trends and motivations observed at the household scale within broader landscape scale influences such as social movements and drought, and focus on the dynamic interplay between these household practices and policy changes. By understanding the relationship between policy change and household practice, the research hopes to provide recommendations as to how these two parties to the hydro-social contract can more explicitly set the terms under which water management will be conducted into the future.

Project Partner:
This research is supported by funding from the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Dr Peter Morison and Prof Rebekah Brown

Publications (link)

Community Water ManagementUrban Water Governance Program
Project P6 (Society and Institutions)Cities as Water Supply Catchments Program