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  • Author or Editor: D. Harshanee W. Jayasekera x
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Tracy A. Boyer, D. Harshanee W. Jayasekera and Justin Q. Moss

Outdoor irrigation water conservation in the commercial sector has rarely been studied. Periodic drought stress in Oklahoma has forced utilities departments, including the City of Oklahoma City, to seek ways of conserving water in both the residential and nonresidential sectors. Most of these efforts largely targeted the residential sector. In this study, we determined the willingness of commercial businesses in the Oklahoma City metro area to participate in water conservation methods, such as installing soil moisture sensors (SMCs), installing smart irrigation controllers (SICs) for their businesses, and participating in voluntary landscape irrigation assessments (LIA). We conducted a mail survey of 3000 commercial customers in which we used contingent valuation (CV) questions to elicit the financial savings that would induce participation in an LIA or adoption of SIC [n = 381 (13.7% response)]. A subsample experimental group received detailed information about future block rate water increases. Results of the study indicate that at current water utilities rates, commercial businesses are unlikely to adopt these conservation methods, but including information about future rate hikes may induce a subset of individuals to participate.