Motivating water conservation with low-cost water flow sensing and persuasive displays

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 11 July 2011

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Citation

(2011), "Motivating water conservation with low-cost water flow sensing and persuasive displays", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijshe.2011.24912caa.004

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Motivating water conservation with low-cost water flow sensing and persuasive displays

Article Type: News From: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Volume 12, Issue 3

A US-based study explores technology as an approach for promoting water conservation in public and private spaces, with the aim of motivating immediate reduction in water use as well as higher-order behaviours (such as seeking new information) through unobtrusive low-cost water flow sensing and several persuasive displays. Early prototypes were installed at public faucets and a private (shared) shower, logging water usage first without and then with ambient displays. This pilot study led to design iterations, culminating in long-term deployment of sensors in four private showers over the course of three weeks. Sensors first logged baseline water usage without visualisation. Two display styles, ambient and numeric, were then deployed in random order, each showing individual and average water consumption. Quantitative data, along with participants’ feedback, contrast the effectiveness of numeric displays against abstract visualisation in the domain of water conservation and public health. It can be seen at web site: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1753604