What drives Townsville to save water?
A James Cook University researcher wants to help Townsville residents save water.
Postgraduate research student Madelyn Pardon is investigating Townsville residents’ water usage, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours to find out how to make water conservation communication more effective.
“We need to understand the types of things that encourage water saving behaviours,” she said. “There are high level government strategies being planned but we can make a start solving the problem by focusing on what we can change as a community.”
Ms Pardon’s research is about how people process threatening information by using Townsville’s water shortage as an example.
“I am hoping to group people according to how threatening they believe the issue is and by how much they think they can personally help mitigate the problem,” she said. “I expect people will fall into three groups; those who are resistant to the problem, those who are passionate about the problem and those who sit somewhere in the middle.”
Once these groups have been identified, Ms Pardon wants to tailor water-saving messaging to each group with the aim of increasing their water saving behaviour.
“I want to understand what type of communication about water saving would be the most effective for different people,” she said. “Therefore, instead of a blanket message for the entire community we can develop a series of messages that have been tailored to specific types of people.
“Hopefully that will be more successful in terms of action, or at least intention to act.”
Ms Pardon is conducting her research via an online survey which can be accessed via the Townsville Water Survey Facebook page.