Publication
Title
Water value ambivalence : a qualitative exploration of the multitude of water values
Author
Abstract
Tap water and its pricing have predominantly interested economists, partly due to the perception of water services primarily as production processes. As a result, much of the existing literature focuses on the economic value of water, leaving the social and cultural importance of water for citizens underexplored. This study adopts a sociological lens to explore the significance of water, delving into citizens’ experiences and perceptions regarding their water usage. Applying a social practice approach to value creation, we conducted 15 in-depth interviews. The results show that although the price of tap water is a concern for people, the actual value of water extends well beyond its price. Water has direct values for citizens in their everyday lives, as well as indirect value by contributing to broader societal systems. In their everyday lives, citizens use water not so much for the sake of water itself, but in various household water practices (e.g., showering) associated with certain values: hygiene, health, relaxation, warmth, and so on. Finally, our study directs attention towards the tensions people may experience between the various values they attach to tap water and the sense of responsibility to use it prudently. Future research needs to consider this water value ambivalence when encouraging water conservation.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Water
Publication
2024
ISSN
2073-4441
DOI
10.3390/W16091236
Volume/pages
16 :9 (2024) , p. 1-15
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 29.04.2024
Last edited 30.04.2024
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