CREATING A WATER-EFFICIENT FUTURE FOR NORTH CAROLINA
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North Carolina has become increasingly vulnerable to drought events in recent years as a result of population growth and the effects of climate change. While many western states began managing for water scarcity decades ago, water conservation is a relatively new management goal in much of the southeast. The aim of this study was to develop a set of recommendations for an effective water efficiency program for the state of North Carolina by applying the lessons learned by a select group of successful water- and energy-efficiency programs. Specifically, this research set out to answer the following questions: 1) what are some of the accomplishments and challenges faced by successful water- and energy-efficiency programs, 2) what drivers are responsible for motivating conservation-oriented behaviors, and 3) what is the most effective organizational framework for advancing water efficiency efforts? Research questions were addressed using a comparative case study approach. Data for this study were collected using document analysis methods and phone interviews with program administrators from five programs. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using NVivo 8, a qualitative research software program. Results of this study suggest that the creation of partnerships between utilities and environmental groups is the most effective organizational framework for advancing water efficiency efforts.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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