Reducing water consumption through norm-based feedback
The World Bank’s Governance Global Practice Group, the Central America Countries Unit, and ideas42 conducted an experiment to encourage water savings in Costa Rica. Residents in Belén participated in three experiments to reduce water consumption. One group was provided with information on the average water usage of their neighborhood relative to their own, while another received information on the average water usage of their city. The final group was asked to set personal targets. Both treatments were effective in reducing water consumption but the former was most effective for high-consumers and the latter most effective for low-consumers of water.
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OECD (2016), “Behavioural Insights for Environmentally Relevant Policies: Review of Experiences from OECD Countries and Beyond”, OECD, Paris; Miranda, J. et al. (2015), “A Behavioural Approach to Water Conservation: Evidence from Costa Rica”, Policy Research working paper No. WPS 7283. Impact Evaluation series, World Bank Group. Washington, D.C.,