There is widespread agreement among agencies governing UK water management that more extensive domestic water metering combined with additional measures will deliver a more efficient domestic water usage. This paper argues that qualitative research is needed to select and hone additional measures. According to theory, cooperation to reduce water use is more likely if people: a) believe in the necessity to reduce use; b) feel costs are fairly shared; and c) believe their actions can affect the situation. The case study of Lydd, Kent, is presented. Lydd is the first location in which compulsory water metering has been imposed in the UK. Qualitative information was collected to inform the communication strategies being implemented by the water supply company. The investigation found that none of the three factors predicted by theory were completely present. The paper concludes by providing some recommendations for improving the water company's communications strategy for encouraging a reduction in domestic water use. The key role of qualitative information in assisting in the targeting and design of water demand management programmes is highlighted.
Issues of trust, fairness and efficacy: a qualitative study of information provision for newly metered households in England
C. Knamiller, L. Sharp; Issues of trust, fairness and efficacy: a qualitative study of information provision for newly metered households in England. Water Science and Technology: Water Supply 1 August 2009; 9 (3): 311–319. doi: https://doi.org/10.2166/ws.2009.433
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