Traces of Water

Traces of Water

Funder: UK Water Industry

Duration: 2005-2006

Traces of Water:
Developing the social science of domestic water consumption

"Traces of Water" is a series of workshops that aims to develop the social science of domestic water consumption.

Within the water sector understanding domestic water consumption has been dominated by questions about average per capita consumption, the implications of metering and how new technologies affect water consumption. Understanding patterns of water consumption, the future of demand and the effects of different forms of regulation require more complex investigation into the practices through which people consume water, the relationship between those practices, different technologies, and wider social and infrastructure change.

The consumption of water, in other words, is just a trace of a series of multiple and complex social and technical processes co-ordinated through the practices of everyday life. Through this series of workshops we will trace an understanding of such processes by reviewing relevant research, concepts and methods from the social sciences, examining the implications for the industry and future research.

Each half-day workshop hosted at the office of UKWIR addresses a particular theme.

Workshop 1Perspectives on the water consumer18th April '05
Workshop 2Water practices in everyday life9th June '05
Workshop 3Shaping water practices by infrastructure10th November '05
Workshop 4Water stresses disrupting the consumer9th February '06
Workshop 5Imagining the future6th April '06