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The mixed methods research project involved the practical implementation and analysis of two household water-use feedback trials. The ‘Home Water Update’ (HWU) study (N = 68) involved the provision of detailed end-use feedback via paper-based reports to half the matched sample and was undertaken in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, two coastal towns in NSW, Australia. An example of the intervention medium is shown in Figure 1. A summary of the HWU study methods is included in Table 1, with more detailed methods and results of the study reported in Liu et al. (2015, 2016).
Table 1

Overview of study methods

 HWU studyMHOW study
Study location Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, NSW, Australia Greater Taree, NSW, Australia 
Sample sizes 68 households (34 intervention and 34 control group households) 120 households (60 intervention and 60 control group households) 
Sample socio-economic data: 
  • Average occupancy

 
  • Median household income in Australian Dollars (AUD)

 
30,000–59,999 AUD 30,000–59,999 AUD 
  • Median age

 
65 + 44–64 
  • Employed / Unemployed / Retired

 
64% / 3% / 33% 51% / 2% / 41% 
Sampling method Recruitment from 141 households with an existing smart water meter Recruitment from households within the second highest quartile of consumers to be fitted with a smart water meter 
Smart meter data collection 1 min data collected at baseline and post-intervention during a few weeks each summer and winter 1 to 5 min data collected continuously during 1-year baseline and 1-year post-intervention 
Additional data collection Householder baseline survey; Evaluation survey; Interviews Householder baseline survey; Evaluation survey; Portal login data 
Intervention timescale Two instances of feedback (May and Sep 2013) based on summer and winter data collection Continuous feedback made available Jan–Dec 2014, updated daily 
Methodological limitations The time taken to disaggregate consumption data resulted in delayed feedback and measurement, creating a challenge for evaluation Technical issues resulted in data not always being uploaded initially and a need for replacement loggers 
 HWU studyMHOW study
Study location Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest, NSW, Australia Greater Taree, NSW, Australia 
Sample sizes 68 households (34 intervention and 34 control group households) 120 households (60 intervention and 60 control group households) 
Sample socio-economic data: 
  • Average occupancy

 
  • Median household income in Australian Dollars (AUD)

 
30,000–59,999 AUD 30,000–59,999 AUD 
  • Median age

 
65 + 44–64 
  • Employed / Unemployed / Retired

 
64% / 3% / 33% 51% / 2% / 41% 
Sampling method Recruitment from 141 households with an existing smart water meter Recruitment from households within the second highest quartile of consumers to be fitted with a smart water meter 
Smart meter data collection 1 min data collected at baseline and post-intervention during a few weeks each summer and winter 1 to 5 min data collected continuously during 1-year baseline and 1-year post-intervention 
Additional data collection Householder baseline survey; Evaluation survey; Interviews Householder baseline survey; Evaluation survey; Portal login data 
Intervention timescale Two instances of feedback (May and Sep 2013) based on summer and winter data collection Continuous feedback made available Jan–Dec 2014, updated daily 
Methodological limitations The time taken to disaggregate consumption data resulted in delayed feedback and measurement, creating a challenge for evaluation Technical issues resulted in data not always being uploaded initially and a need for replacement loggers 
Figure 1

An example ‘Home Water Update’: customised paper reports, which included detailed household end-use water consumption information. Reprinted from Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P., Motivating metrics for household water-use feedback. 2015 Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 103, 29–46, Copyright (2015), with permission from Elsevier.

Figure 1

An example ‘Home Water Update’: customised paper reports, which included detailed household end-use water consumption information. Reprinted from Liu, A., Giurco, D., Mukheibir, P., Motivating metrics for household water-use feedback. 2015 Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 103, 29–46, Copyright (2015), with permission from Elsevier.

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