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Article

Public Attitudes towards Digital Water Meters for Households

1
KWR Water Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3430 BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
2
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Stevinweg 1, Delft University of Technolgy, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
4
Department of Sociology, University of Antwerp, Sint-Jacobstraat 2, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Francesco Granata, Carla Tricarico and Fabio Di Nunno
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116440
Received: 20 April 2021 / Revised: 1 June 2021 / Accepted: 3 June 2021 / Published: 5 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Wastewater Management and Water Demand Analysis)
In response to droughts, various media campaigns and water-saving instructions are released. However, these often only have temporary water conservation effects. A promising development in this regard is Digital Water Meters (DWM), which can provide near real-time water-use feedback. Despite extensive DWM experience in some water-stressed regions, a profound understanding of the initial attitude towards DWM and message-tailoring opportunities are rarely empirically explored. This study aims to obtain insights into the attitude towards the introduction of DWM and explore opportunities for message tailoring, a topic of extra relevance as we may be on the threshold of a large-scale DWM implementation in many world regions. Messages tailored to (i) normative beliefs and attitudes on drinking water, (ii) water-use activity and (iii) phase of decision-making, seem particularly compatible with DWM. Through a survey (n = 1037) in the Netherlands, we observe that 93% of respondents have no objections if their utility invests in DWM and that 78% would accept a (free) DWM because of improved leakage detection, lower costs and environmental considerations. Finally, instead of sociodemographic factors, we observe that an attitude-based customer segmentation approach is an especially useful predictor of respondent’s motivation to endorse DWM and forms a promising basis for water conservation message-tailoring strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: water conservation; customer segmentation; pro-environmental behaviour; smart water meters; water-use feedback water conservation; customer segmentation; pro-environmental behaviour; smart water meters; water-use feedback
MDPI and ACS Style

Koop, S.H.A.; Clevers, S.H.P.; Blokker, E.J.M.; Brouwer, S. Public Attitudes towards Digital Water Meters for Households. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6440. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116440

AMA Style

Koop SHA, Clevers SHP, Blokker EJM, Brouwer S. Public Attitudes towards Digital Water Meters for Households. Sustainability. 2021; 13(11):6440. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116440

Chicago/Turabian Style

Koop, Steven Hendrik Andreas, Sharon Helena Pascale Clevers, Elisabeth Johanna Maria Blokker, and Stijn Brouwer. 2021. "Public Attitudes towards Digital Water Meters for Households" Sustainability 13, no. 11: 6440. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116440

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