Water conservation campaign aims to build good habits early

Posted 10 March 2017

Water conservation campaign - Kids producing a videoHow can utilities build awareness about water conservation issues among primary school children? With a little Hollywood glamour, of course.
Hunter Water is tackling the issue with a short film competition. Schools within the utility’s area of operation have been invited to pitch their ideas for a movie on the theme “A Little Leak, A Big Problem”, which is all about leaks and why you should find them and fix them, said Hunter Water Media and Stakeholder Manager Nick Kaiser.
“It’s about making water education fun for the kids, and it’s been quite successful in that regard. You can put forward an education package that’s delivered in the classroom, but it kind of ends there because no one outside the school will know about it,” he said.

Entries are in the form of a storyboard and script. The top nine entries will then be professionally shot and star the students themselves.
Everything culminates in a gala night in June, where finalists will have their films screened at a local cinema. Public online voting will take place for two weeks prior to the gala, and a panel of three local personalities and a Hunter Water representative will judge the entries as well. The winner will take home $5000 in prize money to put towards a water conservation project at their school.
Past winners have used the money for water projects such as a sensory garden that focused on local Aboriginal culture and traditional foods.
Kaiser said that submissions have come from across Hunter Water’s area of operation, which services about 600,000 people in the Lower Hunter.
“The great thing about this approach is that the kids are getting involved, and the videos are shared among the community, so it has much larger catchment touchpoints than what you would get in your standard classroom delivery package,” said Kaiser.
“By instilling this info in kids and encouraging water-smart behaviour from a young age, they become more water conscious as they get older and impart some knowledge to their parents as well.”
Submissions close March 15. To learn more, click here.