Consumers need education on water
The public's understanding of water demand is crucial to managing water efficiency programmes, according to a new study.
The study published in The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), says that that consumers are generally unaware of their own water consumption.
People tend not to change their behaviour and have a lack of knowledge about water management issues.
The public has an important part to play in reducing the demand for water. They need to be informed and educated to make changes in their usage, says the report.
The study found that while some consumers are environmentally aware, they feel they have done everything within their power and now need further guidance from bodies such as the government, councils and water companies.
These bodies need to engage the public to make people aware of the services they provide, such as sewerage, fundamental information about water and wastewater systems and water consumption.
The authors said: "There is no doubt that the public has an important role in reducing demand for water.
"As water shortages become critical, the public should not only be guided to make changes but also form a big part of the decision making process.
"The sentiments and judgments of the public should be included in water demand management decisions, as well as expert knowledge and analysis." Alison Brown