A Guide to Improving Communication with the Public on Water Industry Policy Issues
This report was produced for the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, a now discontinued research program.
Report no. UWRAA 13
During1988 and 1989, the CSIRO’s Division of Water Resources conducted a study funded by the Urban Water Research Association of Australia. It had the main aim of establishing future directions for education and public involvement programs for domestic water consumers in major Australian cities. It was conducted in Sydney, Perth and Canberra as those cities have contrasting water supply histories and problems. It was believed that this would allow sufficient generality of findings for application to other Australian cities.
The first stage of the study involved the measurement of public attitudes to and perceptions of a wide range of water management and planning topics as well as public involvement and communication issues through a questionnaire survey. The second stage attempted to relate actual participation behaviour to these attitudes and perceptions through the conduct of problem-solving workshops.
Although the attitudes and perceptions measured in the first stage were indicative of the individual situation in each city, the second stage showed a remarkable similarity between cities in actual attendances of the workshops and preferences for public involvement procedures, information, education and communication.
The full report on this study can be found in ‘Improving Communication with the Public on Water Industry Policy Issues’ by the authors of this booklet and published by the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, 1989 (Research Report No 6).
The purpose of this booklet is to provide an easy reference for planners, policymakers and practitioners on the major findings and the recommendations of the study. The second section in this work is devoted to ‘how to do it’ suggestions.