The primary focus of the research was on reasons for and barriers to saving water, and attitudes toward water meters.
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Water meters and water use
56% of respondents reported making a conscious decision to use less water. A smaller number (42%) reported taking action to reduce their water consumption. Environmental concerns and saving money were main reasons identified for reducing water use.
Respondents with a water meter installed were more likely to report taking action to reduce water use. 82% of these respondents cited having a water meter as a motivating factor for reducing water use.
The benefits of information
Having good information about how and why to save water was identified as something which would encourage reducing water use. Similarly, not having enough or high-quality information was identified as a factor preventing water use reduction. Those who felt support and advice was lacking were less likely to have a water meter installed.
62% of respondents reported that they felt reducing water use was the ‘right thing to do’. However, when asked what would encourage them to use less water, many respondents cited financial savings. This disparity could imply a disconnection between the respondents’ attitudes to saving water and their behaviours around reducing water use. Alternatively, it could demonstrate a tension between what people perceive as the moral choice and their need to save money.
There were regional differences across Wales around attitudes to saving water. For example, 21% of Valleys respondents agreed water use reduction isn’t a priority, compared to 5% of North Wales Respondents.
Where responsibility lies
Respondents were asked where they felt the responsibility for reducing water use lay. The majority (76% of respondents) felt that ‘a great deal’ of this responsibility lay with the water companies. 58% felt the same amount of responsibility fell to the Welsh Government, and 55% to businesses. Legislative or policy changes was cited as a potential motivating factor for reducing water usage.
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