Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area

Version 1 : Received: 29 July 2017 / Approved: 31 July 2017 / Online: 31 July 2017 (16:45:57 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Katti, M.; Jones, A.R.; Özgöç Çağlar, D.; Delcore, H.D.; Kar Gupta, K. The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1746. Katti, M.; Jones, A.R.; Özgöç Çağlar, D.; Delcore, H.D.; Kar Gupta, K. The Influence of Structural Conditions and Cultural Inertia on Water Usage and Landscape Decision-Making in a California Metropolitan Area. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1746.

Journal reference: Sustainability 2017, 9, 1746
DOI: 10.3390/su9101746

Abstract

Urban development and planning are increasingly centered on matters of sustainability, balancing economic development with ecosystem services and biotic structures within urban environments. In addition to these institutional and structural factors, the decision-making process within individual households must be understood to address rising concerns about water use. Therefore, individual characteristics and preferences that influence the use of water also warrant examination. In response to a survey of occupants of single-family residences in the Fresno Clovis Metropolitan Area of California, contextual interviews and focus group interviews with a homeowner sub-sample, we find evidence of an interplay of social-structural, institutional, and cultural factors involved in influencing individual water use behaviors and landscape decision making. The complexity of residential behaviors and decision-making poses some potential issues with regards to the interactions between individual households and institutional actors in matters of water usage and landscaping, as survey respondents indicate relatively little confidence in institutions and groups to make wise water policy decisions. We conclude that the promotion and implementation of sustainable water use practices will require not only environmental education for the citizenry, but also a tailoring of information for environmental educational initiatives that address the particularities of individual neighborhoods and communities.

Subject Areas

urban sustainability; California; landscape decision-making; urban environment; water use behaviors; social-ecological systems

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