Water VoicesCities 11 November 2015 | 3.35pm
Conversations about public goods such as water and sewerage systems have often excluded final customers. Recently there is a shift in understanding that to best manage our water resources and deliver improved customer experience the water industry need to hear and understand the customer.
Traditional approaches to engaging with customers have often been focused and localised limiting the water industry’s ability to engage and understand the nation’s views and attitudes to key water issues.
This research allowed Arup to partner with key water industry association, the Australian Water Association and pioneer a nation-wide survey to engage customers on key water issues.
The drought of recent years brought water to the forefront of many customers mind but do we think and talk about water only when we are in drought? Do we complain about the price of water, but are happy to pay $3 a bottle for it at the shop? How does what city people think about water differ to what people in rural and regional areas think? Do customers know enough about our water resources to understand if governments and industry are protecting our water supply in the future? If we are going to start talking about water what should we be talking about?
Getting the first nationwide feedback on these questions and key water topics such as water shortages, sustainability and private sector engagement provides Arup with a keen understanding of customer. Sharing this report within the broader industry allows them another lens to view the issues relating to water around Australia.
The report identified was able highlight instances where customer opinion was different than what the industry thought: 90% of customers thought that recycled water was a sustainable source of non-drinking water, 32% of respondents were undecided about more private sector participation in the water sector, 77% of people are concerned about water shortages around Australia and that only 34% thought the authorities were taking firm action on longer term water availability.
The full report and its finding can be found here.