Public Understanding of Sustainable Water Use in the Home (2009)

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This report commissioned by Defra explores the public’s aspirations, assumptions and expectations around sustainable water use in the home. 18 focus groups and 70 follow-up semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted. The study highlights customer’s limited awareness of water scarcity and the environmental implications of water usage. While there is some awareness of basic water efficient behaviours, participants reported few motivations to save water – particularly for those without water meters. Campaigns are recommended to not only raise awareness of water efficiency, but inform people about the reasons why it matters (e.g. environmental impacts) and how their individual contribution can make an impact at large.