Australian Water Consumer Outlook

Cover image for Australian Water Consumer Outlook

Authorities and other agencies increasingly understand that to best manage our water resources and deliver improved customer experience they need to hear what customers know, don’t know and what their concerns are.

To support that, the Australian Water Association and Arup surveyed Australians nation-wide to understand consumers’ views about water and produced the 2015 Water Consumer Outlook.

Daniel Lambert, Arup’s Australasia Water and Urban Renewal Leader supports an increased customer focus, “The water industry in Australia has recognised the importance of continuing to shift from a compliance focus to a customer focus. This commitment has been reflected in the utilities statements of obligation which acknowledge the importance of their customers.”

The findings were extremely interesting showing that while there was some concern about the approach being taken to ensure our ongoing water security, there is strong support for alternative water sources, with 90% agreeing that water recycling was a sustainable non-drinking source.

Key features

  • Over three quarters of respondents (77%) were concerned or very concerned for water shortage in the whole of Australia.
  • Less than a third of respondents (31%) were confident there will be enough water in the future and only 34% thought the authorities were taking firm action on longer term water availability.
  • The top three perceived impacts on water were drought, climate change and population growth.
  • Thirty-eight per cent of respondents considered the price of water about right. Over half of the respondents (54%) thought that changes in water prices were not explained enough.
  • There was strong support for alternative water sources with 90% agreeing water recycling was a sustainable non-drinking source and 82% supporting stormwater re-use. Alternative water sources were widely accepted for drinking, led by desalinated water (82% agreeing or strongly agreeing), recycled water (69%) and stormwater (56%).

In order to maintain and enhance a customer focus, it is critical for the water industry to understand their customers. The 2015 Water Consumer Outlook provides the results of a nation-wide survey. This report provides a valuable insight into customer’s views on important issues facing the water sector.