Understanding consumer responses to water efficiency strategies

James Jenkins, Alexis Pericli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Understanding how consumers engage with and view their water usage is crucial to the design of more effective water demand management policies and programmes. This chapter argues that while consumers of water may be aware of the need for water conservation, with many expressing good intentions, consumers can often appear to be disengaged or discouraged from positively responding to measures designed to prompt the adoption of water-efficient strategies and behaviours. This disengagement, or inability of the consumer to engage with water-efficient strategies, is highlighted as being due to a range of socio-economic variables, such as age, gender, income, education as well as wider issues of emotional involvement, personal responsibility and institutional trust, and the existence of a gap in expressed attitude and actual behaviour. As a consequence, it is argued that the adoption of single-track water efficiency strategies, such as water metering or education campaigns, is unlikely to be sufficient in its own right, particularly in the medium to long term. Instead, it is suggested that the complexity of human behaviour is more openly recognised and that more diverse and innovative approaches to water efficiency are developed
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater Efficiency in Buildings
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Practice
EditorsKemi Adeyeye
Place of PublicationOxford
ISBN (Electronic)9781118456613
ISBN (Print)9781118456576
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Water efficiency
  • Consumer attitudes


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