Water has a huge impact on every aspect of our lives. Rapid urbanisation, climate change, and inadequate maintenance of water and waste infrastructures in cities are contributing to impacts such as flooding, water scarcity, water pollution, and adverse health effects. Despite the urgent need to address these challenges, the level of engagement and action is poor.
The aim of the POWER project is to increase engagement at all levels: to engage and mobilise individuals, public organisations, policy makers and cities through the POWER platform in a discussion on key issues such as water scarcity, flood risk, water quality, and water conservation.
POWER has developed a digital social platform to deliver a participatory process based on stakeholder engagement and knowledge access.
With a consortium of water experts and practitioners, POWER will increase civil society’s participation by asking for support and action at the political level.
At the local level is the involvement of cities, fostering the implementation of local policies and climate change governance, to deliver social innovation. The opportunity for citizens to learn more about water, to implement more informed and aware decisions and behaviours, will help to deliver a wide impact.
Description of the outcome
Tackling water issues through participation
Trustworthy and relevant information and the engagement of the right actors is not always immediately available. To overcome this issue, POWER is developing local online water communities (piloted in four cities) and a dedicated best practices repository.
The topics addressed are the following:
- Extreme weather events including flooding
- Reduction of water consumption
- Variables related to water conservation
- Quality of water including water reuse
- Water governance
The water communities (piloted in Milton Keynes, Sabadell, Leicester and Jerusalem) aim to bring together policy-makers, professionals and citizens to discuss locally-relevant water issues and to bring about change at a political, community and personal level. A key innovation is the use of gamification to promote user engagement.
The best practice repository collects case studies from the challenges tackled by the four pilot cities as well as international front-runners to share insights with a global audience.
Links to different local online water communities:
What you need to use it
The water communities are accessible as website and app. The best practices repository does not need any particular skills, only requiring access to the internet.
Do you want to contribute?
The water communities and the best practice repository are interactive: accessible to all and allowing registered users to contribute with their own comments and tips.
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