Promoting Water-Saving Practices Across the U.K.

Dr. Kevin Grecksch, with the support of Associate Professor Bettina Lange, conducts research that seeks to usher-in new water saving practices in the U.K.

Dr. Kevin Grecksch is a water scientist who specialises in water governance. At the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Dr. Grecksch conducts research with Associate Professor Bettina Lange that is funded by the U.K. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) for the ENDOWS (ENgaging diverse stakeholders and publics with outputs from the UK Drought and Water Scarcity programme) research project. 

Through ENDOWS, Dr. Grecksch examines how water saving behaviour in public workplaces can be changed in order to contribute to significant water savings. Dr. Grecksch is principally focused on examining water-saving practices in the public sector, including in schools, university, hospitals, and local government offices that currently employ five million people across the U.K. 

Dr. Grecksch maintains that in adopting good water-saving practices, the public sector could act as ‘a role model’ for other sectors across the U.K. The main outcome of Dr. Grecksch’s research is a ‘Primer Document’ aimed at public sector organisations, water companies, regulators (Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency), and water-related non-governmental organisations. The Document is a practical guide on how to build a successful water efficiency campaign. The primer document also features a set of water efficiency practices and policies that for instance can be implemented in schools across the U.K.

In an effort to share and discuss these practices, Dr. Grecksch organized a public workshop in January 2019, which included public sector organisations, environment regulators and water companies. The workshop provided participants with the opportunity to share their feedback, good practices, and reflections on water-saving practices. After this exchange with the workshop participants, Dr. Grecksch updated the Primer Document accordingly.

In addition, Dr. Grecksch organized a ‘Waterways Walk’, a themed field walk through Birmingham as part of the ENDOWS Showcase event in March 2018, in an effort to explore how water efficiency campaigns can promote public social norms. Nine participants from public sector organisations, including Defra, Natural Resources Wales, NERC, ESRC, and the National Farmers Union, attended the Walk, and exchanged good practices with one another as well as with Dr. Grecksch.

Through these efforts, Dr. Grecksch aims to continue to engage with diverse audiences in the public sector across the U.K. in order to exchange good practices, to promote water-saving behaviors, and ultimately, to meaningfully promote water conservation across the U.K.

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