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Title: Barriers to adoption of water-saving habits in residential buildings in Hong Kong
Authors: Zhao, Y
Bao, Y 
Lee, WL 
Keywords: Barriers
Domestic fresh water consumption
Policy gap
Potential savings
Water-saving habits
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
Source: Sustainability, 2019, v. 11, no. 7, 2036 How to cite?
Journal: Sustainability 
Abstract: The fresh water supply is finite, but the fresh water demand is infinite. A sustainable supply of fresh water is emerging as one of the most critical resource issues in the world. Hong Kong is one of the highest per capita fresh water users in the world. This has led to many government initiatives to promote water-saving habits in Hong Kong. However, after almost a decade of efforts, there has been no obvious reduction in consumption. Little has been done to identify the reason for this. Through the use of questionnaire surveys, site measurements, and controlled experiments, the aim of this study is to investigate the level of adoption of different water-saving habits, the most influential water-saving habits, and the barriers to the adoption of water-saving habits in residential buildings in Hong Kong. It was found that if the policies are targeted to break the identified barriers, then there is a potential for reducing the total domestic fresh water consumption in Hong Kong by 14.7%. It was also found that the knowledge of water scarcity and good water use habits are not the barriers to the adoption of water-saving habits in Hong Kong households. Rather, the government should draw public's attention to the environmental impact of water usage and the high fresh water consumption level of Hong Kong people to break the knowledge barrier and should re-examine the water tariff to break the motivation barrier. The results of this study provide useful information for decision makers in the context of water conservation in Hong Kong as well as elsewhere in the world.
EISSN: 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/su11072036
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
The following publication Zhao Y, Bao Y, Lee WL. Barriers to Adoption of Water-Saving Habits in Residential Buildings in Hong Kong. Sustainability. 2019; 11(7):2036 is available at
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