Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify factors contributing to the success of demand management measures in a period of severe water shortage in urban areas of Queensland, Australia; to reflect on the role of demand management measures as a policy tool integral to Australia's National Water Initiative . Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the form of a case study and literature review. Findings – Australia's National Water Initiative , with its emphasis on market‐based reform, failed to provide adequate mechanisms for dealing with severe drought in Australia's urban areas. In contrast, a mix of regulatory, fiscal and educational initiatives encouraged Brisbane residents to reduce their water consumption by 57 per cent. These initiatives were successful because they formed part of a comprehensive, pervasive and persistent campaign delivered by two tiers of government working in conjunction and exhibiting strong local leadership. Originality/value – The paper identifies the need to include demand management measures – including regulatory, fiscal and educational measures – as well as market‐based reforms in national water policy.
Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 7, 2009
Keywords: Water; Water supply; Demand management; Consumer behaviour; Australia
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