Landscape Irrigation and Water Conservation in Urban Areas: An Analysis of Information-based Strategies

Chengyan Yue, Manlin Cui, Xiangwen Kong, Eric Watkins, Michael R Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SUMMARY. Outdoor water use, especially for lawn and landscaping irrigation, accounts for a substantial proportion of residential water use and often peaks during summer months. Understanding how to reduce outdoor water use can play a critical role in balancing the increasing demand for and subsequent protection of water resources. This study aims to find out if information-based strategies can be effective in reducing homeowners’ water use as well as identifying the key determinants that can enhance water conservation campaigns. Using online survey data from 2077 randomly selected urban homeowners with home lawns in a relatively water-rich state, we found that social norm-based information is generally more effective to promote household water conservation behavior than education information. Moreover, the results showed that the households’ water-saving actions, lawn watering knowledge, awareness for local water scarcity, attitudes toward water conservation, socio-demographics, and landscape characteristics all play a role in determining household water conservation intention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-225
Number of pages13
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 1970 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 2Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 1994 Bufford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108 This research was funded by Minnesota Metropolitan Council. C.Y. is the corresponding author. E-mail:

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, American Society for Horticultural Science. All rights reserved.


  • behavior change
  • demand-side management
  • outdoor water conservation


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