© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Gardening has become a relevant contributor to the quality of life of suburbanites, as a source of leisure, to build a relationship with nature or to express a particular social identity. Nevertheless, water scarcity in the Mediterranean region has increased concerns about how demand should be managed to face future uncertainties, and watering the gardens has become an element for discussion in urban planning. This contribution presents the findings of a survey of permanent residents and secondary homeowners (n = 230) in the suburban areas surrounding the city of Girona in the northeast of Catalonia (Spain). The area is a popular national and international tourist destination and a preferred place for second-home owners. We explore the main socio-demographic drivers for choosing an alternative watering source and we analyse if water-harvesting tank sizes properly meet net irrigation requirements. Results show that many water-harvesting tanks are oversized. The percentage of unemployed or retired household members, the estimated irrigation water needs of the garden and the education level directly influence the search for alternative sources of water. Moreover, social variables like interest in gardening, water conservation attitudes and household income indirectly influence the search for alternative sources of water.
- Mediterranean coast
- rainwater harvesting
- structural equation modelling
- suburban area