Customer Perspectives and Behavioural Research

In the transition to a more water-aware society, it is essential to listen to and fully understand drinking water customers. How do these customers view drinking water and water conservation? What do customers expect from their drinking water utility? How can drinking water utilities and others stimulate drinking water customers to deal with drinking water in a sustainable fashion? KWR tackles these questions for example in the Client theme of the Joint Research Programme with the Dutch water utilities and the Flemish De Watergroep. We also conduct several projects in this area for the EU and the Dutch government. In such projects we always explicitly examine how different customer groups think about these sorts of questions and what the existing customer perspectives are. In doing so, we make a distinction between:

  • Heads: what is the customer understanding of drinking water (conservation)
  • Hearts: what are customers’ feelings about drinking-water related themes
  • Hands: how do customers behave in relation to water

Methods and projects within Customer Perspectives and Behavioural Research

Research subjects in this knowledge field include the risk perception regarding water quality,  acceptance of alternative drinking water sources , and the stimulation of water conservation choices and behaviour. Through interviews, focus groups and large-scale survey research, we identify the underlying values and convictions of drinking water customers. By means of field and behavioural experiments, we investigate the effectiveness of interventions (often behaviour campaigns) in stimulating water conservation choices and behaviour.