Social Research Focus Groups

Focus Groups

Focus groups are interviews, conducted by a trained moderator, among a small group of respondents. The interview is conducted in an unstructured and natural way where respondents are free to give views from any aspect. The District uses focus groups to acquire feedback regarding attitudes, behaviors and knowledge about water conservation and water quality. Focus groups have also provided valuable feedback for educational and campaign messages.


Water Quality in Citrus, Hernando and Marion Counties

2012, 10 Focus Groups

This focus group study was used to learn more about the best ways to engage discussion between residents and landscape professionals regarding proper fertilizer use and to find out whether resident and landscape professionals thought this might improve water quality in the springs. Green Industries-Best Management Practices (GI-BMPs) were also discussed with landscape professionals.


Water Conservation in Sugarmill Woods

2011, 12 Focus Groups

This focus group study was used to determine the best way to reduce potable water use in the Sugarmill Woods community in Citrus County, Florida. 


Florida-Friendly Fertilizing Campaign Ad Testing 

2010, 8 Focus Groups

This focus group study was used to test elements of an advertising campaign to educate residents about proper fertilizing techniques. Focus groups were held where participants all had lawns for which they made watering and fertilizing decisions. Participants were exposed to different taglines, graphics and video draft advertisements that had been produced by District staff, and two previous television advertisements that had been produced to affect watering frequency during winter months.


Skip-a-Week Campaign

2009, 28 Participants

This focus group study was used to discuss participants' reaction to creative concepts that might be used in a future campaign. Focus group results helped lead to the District's "Skip-a-Week" campaign.


Septic Systems, Fertilizer Use and Pesticide Use

2007, 57 Participants

This focus group studies outline results of conversations with residents of Marion and Citrus Counties about the relationship between fertilizer use, septic tank maintenance and pollution of water bodies. White papers on the various topics were also used in the design of the focus group discussion topics.


Residential Outdoor Water Use

2007, 38 Participants

This focus group study was used to look at attitudes and behaviors regarding residential outdoor water use and provide recommendations for future studies and strategies that may reduce outdoor water use.


Peace River Watershed Education

2005, 68 Participants


This focus group study was used to (1) define a knowledge level concerning watershed-related topics in the Peace River watershed, (2) establish target audiences for educational outreach and (3) determine past and current outreach programs and the outcome of each program. The findings assisted in developing an inclusive educational plan for this watershed community. This report details how the research was carried out and provides results from the survey and focus groups.


Crystal River/Kings Bay Watershed Education

2005, 45 Participants

These reports detail a focus group/town hall study with the goal of gaining a deeper quantitative and qualitative understanding about four sets of issues involving residents in the Kings Bay/Crystal River watershed area including: (1) knowledge base regarding groundwater systems, (2) exhibited behaviors within the boundaries of the watershed area and community sensitivities toward their watershed, (3) preferred messaging, and (4) preferred methods of communication regarding water conservation and water quality information.