IMPETUS ‘Water Cultures’ domestic water demand review published

Posted on 6th October, 2017

Full paper:

Manouseli, D., Anderson, B. & Nagarajan, M. (2017) Domestic Water Demand During Droughts in Temperate Climates: Synthesising Evidence for an Integrated Framework, Water Resource Management. (Open Access)


Extreme weather events and variations that alter drought and flood frequency add to these pressures and there is therefore a need to develop evidence-based drought scenarios models for water management purposes. However, little evidence is available about householders’ response to drought and there are few if any studies that have synthesised this evidence. In response, this paper discusses the current empirical literature on the factors driving domestic water consumption under both ‘normal’ and drought conditions. The paper identifies the limited availability of evidence on the many different and evolving factors affecting domestic consumption under both ‘normal’ and drought conditions and stresses the need for the inclusion of inter and intra household factors as well as water use practices in future demand forecasting models. The paper then presents ‘Water Cultures’ as an integrative modelling framework to combine the limited evidence that is available on the interactions of social norms, practices and material cultures. This enables the paper both to capture both the uncertainty and heterogeneity of individual and/or household level variation and also outline the research gaps that need to be addressed.