The Patterns of Water project have released their final report. This work focuses on the research results of a 1800 person survey across the south of England, and a number of qualitative interviews with survey participants. It captures the water related practices of people in this region, and the links between these practices and social, cultural, technological and weather related factors. It covers household water use related to laundry, washing/bathing/showering, toilets, gardening, car washing, cleaning, food consumption, recycling, bottled water and kitchen use.

The main highlight of the research is how taking practices as the unit of analysis when exploring water use - rather than attitudes, behaviours or simply ‘litres used’ – allows for a deeper understanding of the routines and habits of  everyday life that lead to domestic water consumption – washing and personal hygiene, doing the laundry, gardening, cooking and so on. The report argues that a practice approach highlights the diversity of dynamics shaping domestic water demand and can help bring new insights into how to construct interventions, and into the future trajectories of different practices and levels of water consumption.

The final report presents these findings in detail including the descriptive and clustering/segmentation analysis, and links with qualitative information from people who took part in the questionnaire.

The team have also published a set of posters that created for the “Tipping points to sticking points: climate change and domestic water demand” workshop held last June. This is a summary of the cluster analysis from the main report, combining the quantitative and  qualitative information and ideas about ‘futures’. Readers are invited by the Patterns of Water team to use this resource in teaching or for other educational purposes - the SPRG would appreciate any users of this report to email sprg@manchester.ac.uk with a brief explanation of how you have used this resource

The Patterns of Water team would be happy to discuss the report - the team are particularly interested in talking to anyone in the UK water industry interested in expliring an alternative idea of customer segmentation based on ‘practice’ or others interested in exploring the potential application of this approach to other sites of resource consumption such as energy.The team can be contacted through through Dr. Alison Browne.

The team recently published an article on upscaling social science research for the water industry, in a special edition of the journal Water Resources Management which can be accessed here.

The final report and poster resource can both be downloaded below.

The report is the result of the interconnected research projects: SPRG Patterns of Water project (ESRC/DEFRA/Scottish Government) and the Adaptation and Resilience in a Changing  Climate project (ARCC-Water, funded by the EPSRC).

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