Government leaders may be tempted to lecture citizens or plead with them to conserve water. But letting the facts speak for themselves can be a much more powerful strategy. This approach yielded impressive results in Melbourne, Australia.
Between 1997 and 2009, Australia faced its worst drought in history. Water storage levels in Melbourne dropped to slightly above 26%, an all-time low. But instead of endlessly repeating the drought warning, city leaders installed electronic billboards along highways to display current reservoir levels. This simple tactic showed people just how quickly the city was running out of water, creating a sense of urgency and pulling the community together. Once citizens understood the situation, they took action—and responsibility—for themselves. By the end of the drought, nearly one in three Melbourne citizens had a rainwater holding tank in their home.
India’s water crisis has over the last few years snowballed into a national calamity due to increased infrastructure, industrialization and non-treatment of effluents released in water bodies resulting in dry, arid desert-like situations in many areas of the country. Such a situation calls for quick action and hence the ‘Make India Water Positive’ campaign is a stand against wastage and mismanagement of water, especially by industries.
The campaign is run by Times of India, an Indian national daily newspaper. It urges the consumers and their favorite brands to be responsible and give water back to the society by recycling, replenishing water for a good cause. The intent behind this campaign is to encourage Indian Nationals to stand for the cause and to spread awareness about the causes behind India’s scarcity of water.
Thousands of people have joined and supported the campaign. Times of India has made very effective use of different media platforms, including print, TV, radio, internet and social media to create awareness against the rising water pollution levels.
This campaign created awareness among the people to buy brands that are water positive and compel industries to treat, recycle and replenish water.
The idea behind ‘Make India Water Positive’ is two-fold — the first being to sensitize citizens to make a responsible choice of the brands that they select. The second part of the campaign entails training commercial hubs and industries in becoming ‘Water Positive Brands’.