Selected Information - Proposed Research

CP536  Using gamification to drive water efficiency Water Resources

The potential of using gamification to sustainably alter customer behaviour and drive water efficiency savings whilst developing a positive customer relationship will be quantified.


Gamification offers a way to engage with customers and deliver sustainable behaviour change in water use. Evidence from the retail sector indicates a step change in customer behaviour is possible following the introduction of gamification techniques. Sainsbury's recorded a 38% increase in carrier bag re-use in 12 months after awarding Nectar points for such behaviour.

Sustained water efficiency through altered customer behaviour offers a viable alternative to costly leak detection and repair techniques. This will only occur if customers are completely engaged in the process.  There is a need to evaluate gamification as a way to achieve this and to carry out a trial for the UK water sector.


Gamification techniques, the use of game thinking to solve problems, have the potential to:

  • Deliver demand side water savings of over 500Mld across the UK (at least 10 litres ppd) through sustainable behaviour change.
  • Defer costs for traditional demand reduction techniques (e.g. leak detection and repair).
  • Improve SIM scores through a reduction in unwanted contacts.


In Phase 1 a methodology on how best to utilise gamification principles in the UK water sector by looking globally and at other sectors, will be developed. Success measures for water efficiency outcomes to be achieved through gamification techniques will be agreed, and a trial specification developed. In Phase 2, the trial will be planned, implemented and evaluated against the success measures. The data generated during the trial will contribute to the evidence base on effective customer engagement for water efficiency.


WRc and Waterwise have unique experience in customer water use and efficiency trials. This study will deliver a robust trial and state-of-the-art knowledge of this technique whilst minimising risk and cost to participants.