Water demand management and the quest for sustainability

Sam Trowsdale*, Caitlin Golder, Karen Fisher, Gary Brierley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This paper problematises positivist framings of water demand management (WDM) that define the average-water-user. Through a situated, case-study account undertaken in suburban Auckland, we highlight variable social and cultural underpinnings of domestic water use. Activities that are commonly the focus of WDM are shown to be embedded elements of life around which relationships, affects and futures are woven. As a consequence, myopically focusing on the technical-managerial mediation of what are socionatural relations reduces prospects to achieve intended policy outcomes. Reframing WDM as a hydrosocial process provides a basis for water providers to develop more culturally appropriate water management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-204
Number of pages13
JournalNew Zealand Geographer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Big water
  • Household
  • Hydrosocial
  • Little water
  • Urban water
  • Water diary


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