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Water behaviour modelling for efficient ICT-based water management in urban environments: A United Kingdom case study

Terlet, Julia Jeanne Louise 2018. Water behaviour modelling for efficient ICT-based water management in urban environments: A United Kingdom case study. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

The global water crisis, caused by ever-increasing population growth, climate change and growing urbanization, requires a sustainable use of water resources worldwide. In the United Kingdom (UK), despite heavy rainfall and common prejudices, population growth and aging water infrastructure engender significant periods of drought and flooding. While increasing the water supply is a solution to current problems, reducing demand by promoting behaviour change, appears as an environmentally and economically interesting approach to better manage water resources. To that end, the rapid development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) offers an opportunity to deploy both structural and voluntary strategies to reduce demand. While a growing body of literature recognises their efficiency in water-scarce countries, there is a lack of research regarding the use of ICT to promote behaviour change and water savings in water-stressed countries such as the UK. Using surveys and case studies, this research project demonstrates that the water-saving user interface designed in the context of this project is an efficient tool to increase users’ awareness of their water usage, improve their knowledge of environmental issues and ease the performance of water-saving actions in households. Providing individuals with an overview of their households’ water consumption through this interface is also identified as the most efficient method to encourage domestic water savings. By designing and testing an innovative water-saving interface based on behaviour change theories, recommendations from previous studies and results from initial surveys, this research project contributes to existing knowledge and provides a new understanding of the impact of ICT and behaviour change methods on the promotion of water conservation in British households. The author believes that this research project can be used to inform British water companies’ strategies and increase the efficiency of their conservation campaigns. By highlighting the need for large-scale structural changes to facilitate domestic water savings, this project also suggests recommendations to increase the impact of future governmental initiatives regarding domestic water conservation.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Water conservation; Behaviour change; Sustainable behaviour; Smart water meters; Information and communication technologies; Water consumption.
Funders: European Union
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 August 2018
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2018 10:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/113833

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