How do you turn disengaged community members into engaged citizens that understand, value, and actively support this transition to water sensitive cities?
This question is at the heart of a new report, Community profiles of engagement with water: Identifying ‘footholds’ for building engaged communities, published as part of research for the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities project “Understanding social processes to achieve water sensitive futures” (Project A2.1).
Drawing on data from an online survey of more than 5000 people across Australia, authors Dr Angela Dean, Associate Professor Jo Lindsay, Associate Professor Kelly Fielding, and Associate Professor Liam Smith looked at the demographic and ‘psychosocial’ profiles of five defined groups: disengaged, aware but inactive, active but not engaged, engaged but cautious, and highly engaged.
Respondents were allocated to these groups depending on survey responses to topics such as their water-related knowledge, support for alternative water sources, pollution reduction behaviours and household characteristics.
The five profiles, the authors said, “provide a foundation for targeting initiatives that aim to promote greater engagement in water-related issues”.