BSc Geography (Aberystwyth 2012)
MA Regional and Environmental Policy (Aberystwyth, 2014)
Tel: +44 (0)1970 622 610
Behaviour Change and Smart Water Metering
Supervisor(s): Professor Rhys Jones and Professor Mark Whitehead
Adam graduated from Aberystwyth University in 2012 with a mixed discipline BSc in Geography. He remained in the department to undertake a MA in Regional and Environmental Policy, from which he graduated in 2014. The thesis for this MA was undertaken in partnership with local organisation Ymlaen Ceredigion as part of an Access to Masters (ATM) Scholarship, and examined the process of behaviour change amongst students taking part in a household energy conservation initiative.
After a year away from academia spent travelling and working, Adam re-joined the department in September 2014. His PhD, which is funded by an Economic and Social Research Council Studentship and will involve working closely with Welsh Water, aims to examine the effectiveness of smart water meters as a means to promote sustainable use of water resources in Wales.
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In recent years a shift has occurred in many aspects of UK policy making which recognises the fact that human beings often make decisions in irrational ways. Drawing on insights from behavioural economics and the ideology of Libertarian Paternalism, many policies now utilise behavioural cues, default options and choice architectures to aid citizens in making what is deemed to be the best decision for them. Adam’s research focuses on how this technique of “nudging” has been used in relation to pro-environmental behaviours, with past work exploring the issues surrounding the deployment of smart electricity meters, arguably the most significant behaviour changing initiative currently being pursued by the UK Government. Further developing this interest in “technological nudges”, Adam’s PhD research aims to examine the potential of smart water meters and their associated In-Home Displays (IHD’S) as a means of promoting more sustainable use of water resources in Wales. Working in partnership with Welsh Water, he will take a mixed methods approach in exploring the experiences and attitudes of individuals, businesses and organisations who have been involved in the development and use of smart water technologies. He also intends to address some of the issues which surround their use (such as ethics, risk and security), and in particular investigate why some individuals and organisations chose to actively resist their deployment. He will then consider how his findings relate to current dialogues, and contemplate what insights the case study of smart water meters can contribute to constantly evolving behaviour change debates.