A pilot study into attitudes towards and perceptions of rainwater harvesting in the UK
Meetings and Proceedings
Rainwater harvesting (RWH) has been identified as having dual benefits - as an alternative water supply, which helps reduce demand on potable supplies and as a stormwater detention method to help relieve urban flooding. In the UK the uptake of such systems has been slow, but is envisaged to increase as the new water strategy, Future Water and water service provider Strategic Direction Statements begin to promote its use. Understanding current user perceptions, including concerns and drivers, will help to facilitate a positive reaction to the promotion of such systems. Consultation and information provision are fundamental in strengthening public acceptance of innovative technologies and understanding stakeholder perceptions is central to this. A pilot study was conducted using an online questionnaire to assess attitudes towards and perceptions of certain aspects of RWH systems (RWHS). Respondents showed a preference for using their own roof as a catchment area, over roofs of neighbours or car parks and surrounding areas. Furthermore it was identified that the perceived risk associated with 8 use types increased as the use type became increasingly personal. It was also identified that perception of maintenance activity costs was more closely aligned to actual costs than perception of maintenance activity frequency requirements. Finally, grants were identified as the factor most likely to encourage consideration of installation of a RWHS.
10th British Hydrological Society Symposium, University of Exeter, 15-17 September 2008