With the institutional and personal relationship building vital to integrated water resource management (IWRM) in practice stopping at the community scale, households and householders are largely neglected from the framework. Domestic water users are viewed as a homogenous group requiring only continuous, single-use potable supply, with equal, unproblematic access to the supplied water. Reflecting the reality of few households, this construct contributes to the development of inappropriate and ineffective institutional water management policies and practices. Using evidence from Water Diaries conducted in the ACT region, including household adoption of water conservation practices and acceptance of water restrictions, this paper demonstrates that householders are active water managers. Outlining the benefits to IWRM of incorporating household water management expertise, this paper argues it is appropriate to formally include this sector in the IWRM framework.

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