Water Journal : Water Journal June 2015
June 2015 water 39 Feature article I nnovation plays a key role in the water sector, helping to address a range of current and future challenges. In response to ongoing issues around sustainable water management, the Australian Water Association and YouNoodle recently joined forces to launch the Australian Water Innovation Challenge. The first challenge was held at the Australian Water Association’s Water Innovation Forum in March 2015 in Sydney in collaboration with ARUP. It called for entrepreneurs and established companies to enter their most innovative product or solution that would lead to better engagement with customers and communities by creating an emotional connection with water. Twenty-two entries were submitted via the online platform. The winner, announced at Ozwater’15, is a Melbourne based start-up called Half a Teaspoon with its entry ‘Project 0’. Company founder Gretha Oost, explains here what Project 0 is all about. Would you drink from a public fountain? It seems most people would rather spend $4 on a bottle of spring water than drink from a community water bubbler because of concerns about health and safety. The result? In Australia alone, about one million plastic water bottles end up in landfill every day. To turn this situation around, we need to apply a systems approach and revisit our water drinking habits in public spaces. This is where Project 0 comes in. Project 0 delivers an attractive, design-driven solution to the environmental impact associated with drinking bottled water. The key elements of the project are design + public art, collective funding and community engagement. DesIgn anD publIc art Most drinking fountains have been designed with the local government as the customer in mind. They tend to be robust, stainless steel units that resemble urinals, and are often positioned near rubbish bins. Project 0 Art Fountains, on the other hand, have been designed with the end user in mind. We collaborate with local communities and artists to create an exciting piece of public art that also functions as an attractive water refilling station, enhancing the meaning of public spaces and encouraging people to pause, refresh and enjoy their surroundings. Quite simply, through art and design Project 0 creates a positive association with drinking water in public spaces. collectIve funDIng Currently, there is a general perception that access to drinking water in community spaces is the responsibility of local government. But addressing such a major social and environmental issue is the responsibility of us all and requires multiple parties to be involved. We need to collaborate and collectively fund attractive public drinking water fountains that will change people’s perceptions, encourage their use and create a sense of shared ownership. communIty engagement In today’s world of crowdfunding, Uber and airbnb, there is a willingness among communities to rally together and make things happen. Project 0 is a community engagement program that makes it super easy to collectively create a piece of public art that also functions as a water refilling station. benefIts of project 0 Project 0 is based on the idea that, through art, we create a positive association with drinking tap water from public fountains. Project 0 Art Fountains will reduce plastic waste associated with drinking bottled water. Project 0: Winner of the AustrAliAn WAter innovAtion chAllenge A concept illustration depicting a Project 0 Art Fountain in a community space. www.awa.asn.au The AusTrAliAn WATer DirecTory 2015 26th Edition An invaluable resource and reference tool for the Australian water industry To view the digital version now visit www.awa.asn.au/WaterDirectory www.awa.asn.au/WaterDirectory www.awa.asn.au/WaterDirectory www.awa.asn.au/WaterDirectory For your convenience, the 2015 Australian Water Directory is now available online...
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