The Millennium Drought across Australia during the 2000s placed cities under pressure in providing urban water security. In Sydney, Australia’s largest city, a comprehensive water demand programme triggered a significant reduction in per capita water consumption. The water demand programme included incentives for the installation of rainwater tanks.
The Modelling the Uptake of Water Conservation and Efficiency Measures in Sydney report team worked with Sydney Water’s WaterFix Program to validate their agent based, decision-making model aimed at encouraging consumers to participate in water saving programs.
Adoption of water conservation measures is one-way water utilities and community are able to reduce the demand on finite water resources by a growing population, and adaptively manage the impacts of episodic droughts. To deliver effective and least cost water conservation programs in the future, utilities need to better understand what drives people’s choices to adopt or not adopt water-wise behaviours, technologies and services.
This technical report presents a series of research projects funded by the Low Carbon Living (LCL) CRC, the CSIRO and agencies such as Sydney Water, Sustainability Victoria and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage have been developing and piloting an Agent-Based Modelling (ABM) approach to better understand the decisions made by community members when they are presented with a range of resource conservation products and services, or are selecting resource consuming appliances and fixtures.