AGuide to Improving Communication with the Public on Water Industry PolicyIssues

ReportNo WSAA 13





During1988 and 1989, the CSIRO’s Division of Water Resources conducted a study fundedby the Urban Water Research Association of Australia. It had the main aim ofestablishing future directions for education and public involvement programsfor domestic water consumers in major Australian cities. It was conducted inSydney, Perth and Canberra as those cities have contrasting water supply historiesand problems. It was believed that this would allow sufficient generality offindings for application to other Australian cities.


Thefirst stage of the study involved the measurement of public attitudes to andperceptions of a wide range of water management and planning topics as well aspublic involvement and communication issues through a questionnaire survey. Thesecond stage attempted to relate actual participation behaviour to theseattitudes and perceptions through the conduct of problem-solving workshops.


Althoughthe attitudes and perceptions measured in the first stage were indicative ofthe individual situation in each city, the second stage showed a remarkablesimilarity between cities in actual attendances of the workshops and preferencesfor public involvement procedures, information, education and communication.


Thefull report on this study can be found in ‘Improving Communication with thePublic on Water Industry Policy Issues’ by the authors of this booklet andpublished by the Urban Water Research Association of Australia, 1989 (ResearchReport No 6).


Thepurpose of this booklet is to provide an easy reference for planners, policymakers and practitioners on the major findings and the recommendations of thestudy. The second section in this work is devoted to ‘how to do it’suggestions.


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