water conservation in Europe - water globe in the hands

This research explored customers’ awareness of the bigger picture about the future availability of water, as well as their attitudes to water use.

The study took the form of four, one-day workshops in London, York, Neath (Wales) and Norwich during June 2017. The sample consisted of 93 water customers.

 The key findings include:

  • The future of water supplies is not an issue at the forefront of most customers’ minds. Their views on the long-term supply of water are largely shaped by lived experience. Although customers are aware of issues such as climate change and population growth, they do not link them to water supply.
  • People have an expectation that water companies, governments and others will do what is needed to solve the issue of future water shortages.
  • Consumers may be engaged better by a coherent set of messages that raises their awareness of the ‘bigger picture’ about water resources, rather than just suggesting ways they can save water.
  • Information about why behaviour matters could help to make targeted water saving messages around how to change behaviour resonate with consumers more effectively. This is needed to help people understand the problem and the implications, and to understand why they are being asked to think about their water use.
  • If people have a better understanding of why they are asked to reduce their water consumption, they may be more receptive to such messages.

Mike Keil, our Head of Policy and Research, says talking to consumers as real people will help the water industry get its message across about the need for resilient supplies and services. Read Mike’s full blog.

Download Water Saving - helping customers see the bigger picture (pdf – 2 MB)
Download APPENDICES Water Saving Helping customers see the bigger picture (pdf – 1 MB)
Download Summary - Helping customers see the bigger picture water saving (pdf – 392 KB)