Identifying Effective Communication Strategies to Promote Conservation of Water in Social Housing through Interaction with Tenants

By Mehreen Gul and Gillian Menzies.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Reduced demand for water and energy is key to supplying them more sustainably and less carbon intensively; it is critical in a transition to a low carbon society. To achieve success with water efficiency, it is important to combine awareness raising, behavioural motivators, technological progress and innovation. To target water efficiency measures effectively it is necessary to communicate the right messages to different consumer groups. This study aims to elicit and understand the attitudes and motivations of housing association tenants towards water use in their homes. Interviews were conducted with housing association tenants to gain an understanding of water use, the need to conserve water and motivation issues behind water conservation. It is said that water is taken for granted as it is readily available at taps and the only way that this attitude be changed is by having a limited supply or by making use of water meters so that people pay for what they use. During this investigation a number of issues are identified which should be considered in devising an effective communication strategy for promoting water efficiency in social housing tenants.

Keywords: Water Consumption, Communication Strategies, Social Housing

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 11, Issue 3, September 2015, pp.29-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 809.465KB).

Dr. Mehreen Gul

Assistant Professor, Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Dr. Gillian Menzies

Associate Professor, Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK