Water Water Everywhere….
…But not a drop to drink.
By 2025, 2 billion people on the planet will not have access to clean drinking water. This is fast becoming an issue everywhere: not only in areas suffering drought and poverty, but on our own doorsteps, too. And the key issue? Awareness of the extent of the issue and an assumption that the planet has an abundance of water. Water? Yes. Drinking water and clean water? No!
Since getting deeply involved in climate issues, and one of these being water, we have been learning more almost daily about the topic: what can be done and what we should be doing and doing more of. After watching Brave Blue World I learned a few things that can really impact change:
- The technology exists - funding is required and regulation must change to unlock what already exists
- Awareness and understanding of the extent of the issue is low - if more people knew, and cared, we could all speak up and put pressure on corporates and governments
- The 2 key things that will move the needle are policy and politics
Last year we participated in the Water Innovation Festival and, in collaboration with ServiceNow, we rolled out one of our IQ (Insight Quiz) programmes to find out how people feel about climate and water issues in Northumbria, Essex and Suffolk.
What we found out surprised us.
People care deeply about protecting the vulnerable, they are concerned about the health and well-being of those close to them and in their area and a high percentage feel climate change will impact them in their lifetime. In terms of what people said they would do to make a change, the majority would take shorter showers and switch off the tap - very few said they would bin the wipe (maybe they already have?!). When we looked deeper at the data, we saw that 40% of people in the area had a water meter, showing that when we link a personal gain or saving to the issue, behaviour can change.
So, all the money being spent on campaigns to bin the wet wipe - is it working? Could the money be put to better use? Do we need to bring in a law against flushing wet wipes down the toilet? With these insights, we can make better use of budgets and bring public knowledge and sentiment into critical decision making. We can create systems of action and generate exponential impact by harnessing one of the largest cultural megatrends of our time…..gaming.
To learn more about our water issue, please have a look at our case study and get in touch if you need help to engage with the public deeply on issues that you know need urgent action.