A Cultural Approach to Conserving Water: A Case Study on the Azraq Oasis
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AbstractMy dissertation aims to design a proposed solution by studying and better understanding the specific cultural related issues of water conservation. Water, a valuable element of life, has had and continues to have a significant impact on communities; culturally, socially, ecologically, politically, and on places globally. Conserving water is today’s imperative need, and can more likely be implemented with a more specific culturally thoughtful policy design to help change the societal behavior, attitude, feeling, and awareness toward the water crisis.
Specifically, for this dissertation, I use the Azraq Oasis in Jordan as a case study. I define and investigate the cultural component of water scarcity and its role in implementing effective water conservation practices using Laureano’s four cultural dimensions – cognitive (knowledge), attitude, active (behavior) and effective (feeling) parameters. I accomplished this by observing daily practices of the five sub cultural groups, the Druze, Chechens, Refugees, Minority, and Bedouins residing in Azraq. These parameters were collected through surveys, quantified and statistical models were created in order to help design a better resolution for this specific population.
The results indicated that the knowledge and behavior models are more significant than the attitude and feeling models. Survey results for daily practices for conserving water had variations in terms of awareness (knowledge) of water conservation. All of the five sub cultural groups display positive behavior and attitudes towards willingness to conserve water. However, the one disparity is that the refugees, as much as they agreed that water conservation is needed, disagree that it is their responsibility to conserve water, but indicated that they save water wherever they can. In sum, all five cultural groups share similar feelings about water shortage and water quality seems to be their primary concern. This dissertation makes a contribution in the water use and conservation literature and provides quantifiable data of the role of the culture on water conservation for policy designers. The policy designers can then potentially implement or learn from this dissertation in their own country to design culturally sensitive policies that would potentially help eradicate water scarcity.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:37735004