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A rural-urban divide?: Attitudinal differences towards water restrictions in South Australia

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Pearce, Meryl; Willis, Eileen; Mamerow, Loreen; Jorgensen, Bradley; Martin, John;
  • Journal Name: Australasian Journal of Regional Studies
  • Journal Number: Vol. 18 No. 3
  • Publisher: Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association
  • Published Location: Armidale, NSW
  • ISBN: 1324-0935
  • Country: Australia

This paper examines differences in attitudes towards water restrictions in rural and urban areas in South Australia. The areas differed on the relative importance of future water shortages, whether uniform restrictions should apply across the state and the disruptive nature of restrictions. An analysis of the determinants of the attitudinal differences revealed that the perception of a more plentiful water supply in the rural study area led to a perception that future water shortages were of lesser importance to their households compared to those in the urban areas. This may also account for their attitudinal differences on the uniformity of restrictions across the state. Differences in attitudes towards the disruptive nature of restrictions were significantly linked to the affluence of the urban households. Apart from these differences, generally, regardless of location, demographics and socio-economic conditions, the results showed support for restrictions and their value in assisting households to conserve water.

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