Distributed Demand and the Sociology of Water Efficiency


Book Section

© 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Water efficiency programmes for households are now part of the best practice of most UK water companies. Although strategies vary across company boundaries, a common approach is to try to change customers' attitudes and behaviour to water and the environment, providing kit to retrofit homes, educating customers about water use with simple messages about the use of these newly installed technologies, and other simple behaviour changes. Similar strategies have been established world-wide as an example of the twin-track approach to manage supply and demand balances, particularly in the face of scarcity and climate change. Based on research and theoretical developments, this chapter problematises the notion that water efficiency through technology is the only, and most effective, way to create change with customers and highlights opportunities for more innovative approaches to create change. Based on social science research and theoretical approaches developed by the authors exploring different facets of an idea of 'distributed demand', and using Thames Water as an example of a first step beyond the status quo for water efficiency programmes, this chapter explores the potentially missed opportunities for linked-up demand management and water efficiency through networks of small-to-large businesses, water companies, government and NGOs.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Browne, A; Medd, W; Pullinger, M; Anderson, B

Published Date

  • December 30, 2013

Book Title

  • Water Efficiency in Buildings: Theory and Practice

Start / End Page

  • 74 - 87

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9781118456576

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/9781118456613.ch5

Citation Source

  • Scopus