Water conservation and fairness in collective burden sharing

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Climate change shifts are making the challenge of water insecurity a reality for many large cities in developing countries. This realization recently came to light in South Africa as one of its major cities, Cape Town, experienced its worst drought in four centuries. Although Cape Town recovered from the water crisis the challenge of insufficient water supply is not over. Effective demand and supply side management is essential for long term water security. When designing policies that account for the burden sharing of rights and responsibilities, in relation to water conservation and payment, an understanding of the preferences for burden sharing among residents is beneficial. This study will use experimental techniques to elicit the burden sharing preferences of Cape Town residents. It will investigate how beliefs affect these preferences and how these burden sharing preferences may influence consumption and payment behavior. This study aims to develop a framework which uses experimental techniques to evaluate burden sharing preferences in the context of water which can be implemented in various cities in sub-Saharan Africa facing similar challenges with inequality and water insecurity. 

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Financed by
Environment for Development initiative
Project | 7 December 2023