Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version





The purpose of this study was to describe selected college students’ (N = 252) perceptions of and future intentions (FI) to engage in public-sphere water conservation behaviors, and to determine if FI could be predicted by a single or linear combination of student demographic characteristics and latent variables. A majority of respondents agreed a growing population will negatively affect water quantity (90.5%) and there is a need for water resource management (85.6%). A majority disagreed or strongly disagreed that they (53.4%), their family (57.1%), or their friends (67.5%) practiced water conservation, or that people in their hometowns were concerned about local water availability (78.1%). A majority agreed they would engage in four of five public-sphere water conservation behaviors in the future: support water conservation programs (86.4%), care more deeply about water conservation (81.2%), join a water conservation organization (79.2%), and vote for stricter water use laws (55.0%). Fewer than one-half agreed or strongly agreed they would donate money to support water conservation (45.8%). Responses to statements concerning water conservation were factor analyzed and two factors were extracted: lack of agency (LA) and subjective norms (SN). A linear combination of gender, LA, and SN explained 36.7% of the variance in FI.