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Investigating Attitudes towards Water Savings, Price Increases, and Willingness to Pay among Italian University Students

Masserini Lucio, Romano Giulia () and Lorenzo Corsini ()
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Masserini Lucio: University of Pisa
Romano Giulia: University of Pisa

Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), 2018, vol. 32, issue 12, No 19, 4123-4138

Abstract: Abstract Knowledge of attitudes towards water conservation, potential reactions to incorporating supplementary costs into water prices, and the willingness to pay for water services is vitally important to decision makers wishing to implement policies that effectively promote more conscious water consumption and mitigate increasingly important water scarcity issues. This study aims to examine the relationships among these dimensions and their potential explanatory factors—such as family values, knowledge about problems related to water scarcity, attitude and propensity to pro-environmental behavior, and social pressure that individuals receive to behave in a certain manner—through a sample survey on 429 students enrolled at the University of Pisa (Italy). A set of hypotheses were formulated among eight latent variables that reflect the previous constructs and were tested through a structural equation model. As for key findings, we highlight the importance of family values as the main determinant of pro-environmental behaviors, which result in more responsible water use, greater support for price increases to encourage water saving practices, and a greater willingness to pay more for improved water and water service quality. Policymakers should consider these findings when developing policies and strategies to incentivize effective water saving practices among younger generations.

Keywords: Water saving; Water sustainability; Willingness to pay; University students; Structural equation models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1007/s11269-018-2049-7

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