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Water Watchers campaign named finalist in Banksia National Sustainability Awards

Yarra Valley Water’s fun and educational water conservation campaign has been recognised as a finalist in the world’s longest-running sustainability awards.

The campaign has reached children in schools across Yarra Valley Water’s service area and provided more than 11,000 free biodegradable Water Watcher devices. These devices are engaging alien characters that fit onto household taps to act as a visual reminder that water is a precious resource that needs to be saved.

Additional resources including an animation, a jingle, activity sheets, and an interactive in-person education program for schools further engage children in the water conservation message.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said the campaign aimed to motivate intergenerational behavioural change.

“Our Water Watchers campaign makes water conservation fun, educational and memorable,” Mr McCafferty said.

“This encourages children to act as ambassadors for water-saving, which is a powerful tool in motivating families to conserve.”

The response to the campaign has been overwhelmingly positive. A survey in October 2021 revealed 92 per cent of customers had placed Water Watchers on their taps, 86 per cent said the devices had reminded them to take shorter showers, and 75 per cent had reduced their time using sink taps.

Mr McCafferty said Yarra Valley Water was thrilled to be recognised in the prestigious awards, which recognise innovation and leadership through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“We were the first water corporation in Australia to commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

“Our Water Watchers campaign is just one of the ways we are contributing to these goals through our business, as we take action now to protect water supplies for future generations.”

This nomination follows a win for Yarra Valley Water’s food waste to energy facility at Wollert in the 2017 Banksia Sustainability Awards, where it received the Leadership in the Circular Economy Award.