Attitudes to tap water and using water wisely

This research examined people’s attitudes to using water wisely and tap water. It was carried out during January and February 2016 using a representative sample of 4,169 adults in England and Wales. The online survey builds on the results of our initial research report in 2015.

The key findings in 2016 include:

Using water wisely

  • Around two-thirds (66%) of adults say they have made a conscious decision to use less water in the past three years (53% in 2015). Saving money was the top reason given.
  • People who live in the least deprived areas are more likely to say they have made a conscious decision to use less water in order to save money on their water bills.
  • The top water saving actions include: turning taps off when brushing teeth, only using a full load in the washing machine/dishwasher, filling the kettle with the amount of water that is required and taking showers instead of baths.
  • When searching for information about how to use less water, more people would look on their water company’s website (52%, up from 34% in 2015).
  • Only one in five adults has seen/heard something in the past year about pressures or impacts on water resources in the UK (21%, down from 31% in 2015).

Attitudes to tap water

  • Fewer people, around two-thirds (67%), now say they drink tap water at home (down from 78% in 2015). Convenience is the main reason people choose to drink tap water at home.
  • More people are drinking still bottled water at home (14%, up from 8% in 2015).
  • Fewer people are also drinking tap water at work (39%, down from 51% in 2015) or in cafes and restaurants (21%, down from 32%).