University of Cambridge reveals insight for our Water Efficiency in Faith and Diverse Cultures project

University of Cambridge reveals insight for our Water Efficiency in Faith and Diverse Cultures project, largely funded by Ofwat.


The University of Cambridge has released an academic report as part of research for our Water Efficiency in Faith and Diverse Cultures Project. 

Funded by Ofwat’s Innovation Fund, the project is one of 16 solutions part of the water regulator’s Water Breakthrough Challenge to drive innovation in the sector and help better meet the needs of water customers, society and the environment.

The Water Efficiency in Faith and Diverse Cultures Project aims to establish a deeper understanding of how water is used and valued in different faiths and cultures.

The project involves engagement with a range of experts, academics and faith groups to establish water-saving interventions and technologies linked to faith and culture that can help meet customer needs and therefore help us build trust within diverse faith communities so that we can work collaboratively to use water wisely and safeguard water supplies for the future. The 42-page report, compiled by the Cambridge Interfaith Programme, involved four months’ of fieldwork in the Cambridge area and includes several key recommendations.
The main takeaways for the water industry include:
  • Learn - that we have a responsibility to enhance our own religious literacy when trying to engage with communities
  • Reflect - on who or what is 'Religious' and/or 'Cultural' so we can understand the effect these terms have within the industry and avoid marginalising other 'faith and diverse' water users
  • Avoid generalising - be aware and take in to account the diversity within religious communities, especially if our aim is to produce an industry-wide framework
  • Listen - It is crucial to listen and learn from our users 

"I'm really pleased with the insights from the academic research led by the University of Cambridge. It has provided us with very useful recommendations. This research is very important as we move into the next phase of the project - developing bespoke and exciting campaigns to roll out in Cambridge from spring onwards. I am looking forward to testing these campaigns as it is something that we (and the wider industry) have never done before." - Mumin Islam, Head of Price Review at Cambridge Water and South Staffs Water, and project lead.

If you would like to read the full report, click here.

Published: 24 January 2024