IWA Publishing

A comparative study of attitudes and preferences for water efficiency in homes

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Water efficiency is the optimised use of water commensurate to need. Achieving water efficiency has, in the last decade, become an increasingly important part of policy programmes to ensure resource resilience and future supply. This study originated from a growing body of literature which purports differences in environmental behaviour in urban and rural residents. It presents initial findings from surveys conducted in two communities in Sussex, England. The objective of the study was to investigate and compare collective views on water efficiency by comparing users in different geographical contexts. The survey conducted in a rural and urban community started with the general assessment of basic household demographics and characteristics before investigating both water and energy use. Questions include factors that encourage or discourage water efficiency behaviour, views on information-led water efficiency interventions and limitations to the adoption of water efficient technologies. The paper concludes by discussing the differences and similarities found and the extent to which the findings are usable in water efficiency policies and processes, although it is worth highlighting that this study is the first set of a series of studies and is limited in its breadth.

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