ARE PEOPLE RESPONSIVE TO WATER RATIONING POLICIES?
Sheikh Al-zoor, Abdul Qader
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It is difficult for policymakers to predict the behavior of people in response to a water rationing policy. The public may not necessarily behave as expected or in accordance with market rules or policy mandates. In this research, I will ask whether people were responsive to a summer 2011 City of Saskatoon legal restrictions to reduce their outdoor water consumption due to reduced capacity at the water treatment plant resulting from excessive solids in the river water. I will try to explore the policy response - which can be expressed as a reduction of outdoor water consumption in 2011 in response to the water mandate - while holding constant other factors, including environmental variables (temperature and rainfall), socio-economic factors (income and education level), lot size, and an annual downward trend in water consumption that appeared in many North American cities during the past two decades. Monthly water consumption data for the period from 2004 to 2012 for the City of Saskatoon were analyzed to detect if there is a policy response from the water mandate during June and July 2011. Regression analysis with water consumption as the dependent variable and lot size, temperature, rainfall, education index, income, consumption trend, and policy as independent variables was conducted to test whether there is a policy response in the Saskatoon water records, holding other factors relevant to water consumption constant. Results showed there was a statistically significant reduction in Saskatoon water consumption during June and July 2011 as a result of the water rationing mandate, with considerable variations through different neighborhoods. In addition, there is a positive relationship between water consumption and lot size and a reduction in water consumption over the research period from 2004 to 2012. The policy response varied widely across neighborhoods, and there was relationship between policy and annual income per capita, and household size; households with more income per capita are less responsive to the policy while bigger household sizes showed more policy responsiveness. Key words: City of Saskatoon, water rationing, water policy, water mandate, outdoor water use.
DegreeMaster of Public Policy (M.P.P.)
DepartmentJohnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy
CommitteeRaynar, Jeremy; Murray, Fulton; Belcher, Ken
Copyright DateSeptember 2015
Key word 1: City of Saskatoon Key word 2: Water rationing Key word 3: Water policy Key word 4: Water mandate Key word 5: Outdoor water use.
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