The pilot project was successful in raising the awareness of children about how precious water is and how to use it wisely. We discovered from the baseline questionnaire that although, in general, children understand that water is a precious resource, this didn’t necessarily always translate to a personalised understanding of the need for them to use water wisely. Hence one of our major successes was improving the relatively low number of children (46%) that had thought about their personal water use before the project to 92% post project.
Behaviours changed too. Post-project, 80% of children agreed they had learnt new ways to save water at school and home, and we saw positive upturns in the number of children eschewing deep baths for short showers and declaring they now only put the three 3Ps* down the toilet.
The family baseline results were interesting because while they declared overwhelmingly that they try to save water whenever they can, further probing into their water using behaviours revealed a range of water hungry habits with regard to showering and bathing and also a large majority of families who admit to tipping their waste oils down sinks and drains.
Positively our post-project family findings were very encouraging with 81% of respondents declaring their children had shared the water saving messages with them, and 75% of them stating they have learnt new water saving actions as a result of the project.
With secondary school students we clearly saw the need for improvements in their water using habits. Nearly two thirds of them like deep soaks in the bath and three quarters enjoy long, hot showers.
We did make progress with this group however, with 82% of them agreeing they had learnt new ways of saving water through this project.
Encouraged by the success of this pilot, Thames Water have commissioned a scaled-up version of the project. We are currently working with 40 schools in the north London area. We will report on the impact of this project in summer 2016.
Download the full findings.