Bricks & Water roundtable 2: Do the public care about water and flooding?

9.30 - 11.30am

Following on from the WSBF's Bricks & Water report, this policy roundtable will look at public attitudes to water, and the implications this has for water efficiency and flood management. 

This roundtable will be chaired by Angela Smith MP, co-chair of the Bricks & Water report into housing, water management and planning. This session will look to answer:

  • What public behaviours are we looking to change in relation to water?
  • Can behavioural change be cheap and easy?
  • Are people aware of the amount of water that they use? Does 100 litres per person per day mean anything to them?
  • Do people appreciate the need to save water after the heatwave this summer, or do they see it as unnecessary because of wet weather and leakage?
  • Considering that watering gardens is so water intensive and the extreme public resistance to hosepipe bans, how do we change gardening behaviours?
  • Why do 67% of homeowners not know their flood risk?  
  • How do people understand risk and probability? What does ‘a 1-100 year flooding event’ mean to them?
  • How much personal responsibility do people take to protect themselves from flooding, and ensuring that they have enough water to drink? Do people generally avoid taking responsibility?
  • Do the public trust the water and housing sectors to get it right?
  • 78% of Affinity Water customers already think that they are doing their bit on water efficiency - how do we instill collective responsibility to do more?
  • According the Natural England, 86% of people are concerned about damage to the natural environment, but only a third would change their lifestyle to protect the environment. Does this disconnect lie at the heart of challenges that sustainability policy faces? 


  • Carolin Reiner, Behavioural Insights Team
  • Dr Vittoria Danino, Anglian Centre for Water Studies
  • Dr Rose Meleady, University of East Anglia

Please contact jim.clark [at] (subject: WSBF%20behavioral%20change%20event) (Jim Clark) to register your interest.