Consumers need better steer on water supply issues CC Water finds

Water consumers in England and Wales are largely unaware of stress and their concerns for the environment are not reflected inter use of water according to the Consumer Council for Water (CC Water).

The conclusions arose from a survey of consumers in four parts of England and Wales. A response featured in the report from the study: Water saving: Helping customers to see the bigger picture was the view that Britain had plenty of rain so future water supply was not a cause for concern.

Some of CC Water’s chief 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. While customers are aware of issues such as climate change and population growth, they do not link them to water supply.

  • People expect water companies, governments and others 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 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 those messages.

The findings came from four, one-day workshops in London, York, Neath (Wales) and Norwich during June 2017 involving a total of 93 consumers.