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Bottom-Up Generation of Peak Demand Scenarios in Water Distribution Networks

Public Attitudes towards Digital Water Meters for Households

KWR Water Research Institute, Groningenhaven 7, 3430 BB Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences Stevinweg 1, Delft University of Technolgy, 2628 CN Delft, The Netherlands
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;
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.

AMA Style

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

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.

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