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Waterwise newsletter - October 2011

1 October is the start of the hydrological new year, and this year it was also another special occasion for Waterwise - the launch of our new website!


It is not yet finished, as we are still adding content and moving things around, but we're quite excited about the modern look and (hopefully) intuitive navigation.


Please have a look around, and if you have any feedback send it to Ryan (, so we can have the website out of beta in time for the calendar new year. 




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Concerns about water scarcity on the rise

Data gathered by global information and measurement provider Nielsen as part of its 2011 Global Online Environment & Sustainability survey, revealed that worldwide concern for global warming had slipped in priority with global consumers from 72% in 2007 to 66% in 2009. Water scarcity is one of the areas where concern is mounting fastest.


Issues such as water and air pollution have been rated as a higher priority with three out of four global consumers rating them as top concerns at 75% and 77% respectively.


Also of note is the finding that 83 percent of global online consumers say that it is important that companies implement programs to improve the environment, but only 22 percent say they will pay more for an eco-friendly product.

RENEW Life + Project Kicks-off in Brussels

In partnership with the Energy Saving Trust, Waterwise has recently wrapped up a three-year water and energy advice service in the pilot areas of Cardiff, London and Edinburgh. The initiative is known as the Regional Environmental Networks for Energy and Water (RENEW) project.


The kick-off event was held at Scotland House in Brussels on 22 September. Speakers were from Waterwise and the Energy Saving Trust, as well as Henriette Faergemann, Team Leader - Water Scarcity & Droughts at DG Environment of the European Commission.


Two videos were produced as part of the project, and they are available to view here.


Latest news

Future Friendly Awards

The Future Friendly Awards, to honour contributions towards environmental sustainability from all over the UK, were held 27 September at the London Wetlands Centre. All of the deserving regional winners were there, for a ceremony hosted by presenter Gabby Logan.


The categories were Community Award, Big Hero and Little Hero. For a complete list of the winners see the Future Friendly website. And congratulations to each and every one of them, for making a difference in their regions.



Developers and designers have a water hackathon

This 21-23 October London, as well as many other cities around the globe, will engage many local software developers and designers in a hackathon to try and solve some of the most difficult problems around water - including water and sanitation, flooding and drought, irrigation, efficiency and watershed management.


A hackathon is an intensive and sustained period of brainstorming and programming, where collaborate to create new tools for solving a set of problems. The event is being organized by Random Hacks of Kindness, a global community of innovation building practical open technology to solve development problems.


They are currently collecting problems from communities and water experts from around the world. If you have a problem that needs solving click here to have it tackled by experts.



Waterwisely supports water-stressed Swindon

Thames water recently launched Waterwisely, "the world’s first online town with a 'water conscience'." 


The launch of the virtual town, inhabited by 'Waterwise Guys,' supports the Save Water Swindon campaign, set up last year, to help Swindon become the most water-conscious town in the real world.


Swindon is described by the Environment Agency as ‘seriously water-stressed,’ which means all available water sources are already in use. The town gets its water from either the River Kennet or the River Thames. And while Swindon is getting bigger, the rivers aren’t.

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Turn on the tap for drinking water

Many people prefer tap water for taste, and the amount of water that goes into producing bottled water means it’s a complete waste – when fresh stuff comes right out of the tap just by turning a handle!


In a 15 August article in The Evening Standard Viv Groskop asks "Why is asking for free tap water in some restaurants an act of daring verging on the suicidal?" The fact is many people prefer tap water, and Waterwise encourages people to not be shy about asking for tap water. And even if you, in fact, think you prefer expensive bottled water, next time you're out for dinner, give the tap water a try, you might be surprised.


Big changes in our team

Why does our Operations Director Melanie look so happy in this photo to the right? Because she's moving to Australia - just in time for their summer, I might add!


However, while that's good news for her, she will be dearly missed by all of us on the Waterwise team.


Melanie was here from the very start of Waterwise, and not only has she been instrumental to the success of the organization, she is also a friend. However, we wish her all the success in her new adventure, and we're now all planning trips to visit her down under. Please note that we will not be seeking to replace her in the near future, but should a position at Waterwise open up, rest assured that it will be advertised in this newsletter.


Bon voyage Melanie and thanks for everything. 



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