Showering behaviour is local, essential and mysterious – much like water itself. It is local because affected by norms and climate, essential to life not just for hygiene but for welfare effects; mysterious because (hopefully) no one observes how long, when and how we shower. Yet showering accounts for the bulk of our water usage and a significant part of our personal electricity consumption. This talk discusses a project on Smart Showers and Behavior, where 10,000 smart showers will be installed into HDB homes in Singapore. Our three research questions are:
1) How large are the water savings from smart shower devices and are there spillover effects into other water-consuming behaviors?
2) How do people who opt out of smart showers differ from those who do not?
3) How do smart shower devices affect resilience to external shocks?
With great power over our natural world, we have not taken responsibility for it – but are instead, too often, profligate in our use of resources. This apparently irrational behavior persists despite clear signs of climatic change, signaling planetary limits to growth. This project researches the interaction of external structures with an internal sense of responsibility, and how they impact on our decision making. Field work in May and we will present our the research design, field work operations and invite inputs, criticisms and suggestions. (This project is funded by National Research Foundation Grant).