|Published in||Landscape and Urban Planning, v.134:210-220|
Halper, E.B., Dall'erba, S., Bark, R.H., Scott, C.A. and Yool, S.R.
•Do irrigated parks and public pools affect residential outdoor water use?
•We investigate this question in semi-arid Tucson, AZ, USA.
•Outdoor water use is influenced by park conditions within 8 km (5 miles).
•Park proximity, greenness (NDVI) and public pools affect residential outdoor water use.
•Responses varied between households with and without home pools.
We investigate whether public park amenities act as a substitute for outdoor water use by single-family residential (SFR) households in semi-arid Tucson, AZ, USA. Specifically we account for the effects of a park's proximity, size, and greenness (measured by NDVI), as well as the presence of a public swimming pool. SFR households with and without home pools are analyzed separately. We control for SFR property attributes, including house size, age, yard size and property NDVI. Results suggest that SFR outdoor water use is influenced by the conditions of all parks within an 8 km (5 mile) street distance. We also find significant differences between the &ldquowith&rdquo and &ldquowithout&rdquo home pool groups. Households with pools used more outdoor water per square meter of house, per year of house age and per unit of NDVI. Households without pools appeared to reduce outdoor use in response to nearby small parks and increased park NDVI. &ldquoWith pool&rdquo households had the opposite response: they appeared to increase outdoor water use in response to these variables. However, &ldquowith pool&rdquo households did reduce their outdoor water use in response to nearby public pools. Medium and large parks were associated with increased outdoor water use for both groups. We conclude that public green space and pools can substitute for private versions of these amenities, and if well designed, can contribute to water demand management and urban sustainability. This may be an avenue for addressing water supply shortages in semi-arid cities and other areas where populations are growing but water supplies are finite.