Huang, P., Lamm, A. J., & Dukes, M. D. (2016). Informing extension program development through audience segmentation: Targeting high water users. Journal of Agricultural Education, 57(2), 60-74. doi: 10.5032/jae.2016.02060


Human reliance on water has led to water issues globally. Although extension professionals have made efforts successfully to educate the general public about water conservation to enhance water resource sustainability, difficulty has been found in reaching high water users, defined as residents irrigating excessively to their landscape irrigation needs without awareness of the environmental impacts. This study sought to identify differences in water conservation behavior engagement between the general public and high water users to facilitate the development of extension programs targeting high water users. Florida residents (N = 516) and high water users in Florida (N = 512) were surveyed for this descriptive and comparative study. Respondents were asked to indicate their current engagement in water use behavior, water conservation strategies, and the likelihood of engaging in water conservation and related societal behaviors. Compared to the general public, high water users reported a higher frequency of engagement in water use behaviors, and were less likely to engage in water conservation and related societal behaviors. Based on the findings it is recommended that extension professionals segment the high water users from the general public as a specific clientele and develop educational programs relevant to their specific needs and behavioral patterns.

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