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Oh what a night!

At 5pm on 22nd October 2020 Smart Approved WaterMark held the inaugural Water Night. Based on significant research we determined that Australia’s relationship with water – tap water in particular – would only improve with education and personal experience. To develop endearment and value for tap water amongst householders, we asked them to become ‘more water mindful’. Despite COVID restrictions and elections in many states, which reduced the scale of the communications we could deliver directly, 3,417 households signed up to participate. 6.3K adults and 2.1k children pledged not to use their taps on Water Night. If you were one of them, we just wanted to say thank you for taking part.

The experience proved to be immersive and easy for most people to undertake and timing of the event as part of National Water Week was a success. The Australian Water Association (AWA) suggested that their National Water Week initiative had never been bigger or as popular with the media thanks to Water Night. This is a great outcome for Water Night and the Australian water industry.

Water Night ambassadors, Costa Georgiadis, Sophie Thomson and Jane Edmanson (ABC Gardening Australia) and Gorgi Coghlan rallied to the cause generating significant engagement on social media, which we believe, along with the TikTok Influencers (who have a massive 8 million following and garnered 175k likes for the campaign), fuelled campaign momentum during October.

Together with 28 committed sponsors and supporters from the water Industry, local government, retail, associations, educational organisations and not for profits, we delivered 666k electronic direct mails (eDMs), developed social reach of nearly 1.7 million, 18 press articles, 10 radio interviews and more than 8 TV mentions.

Year 1 has delivered registrations from all generations primarily Baby Boomers (46%) and Gen Y (27%). 20% of registered households had children under 14. The older demographic is more aligned to traditional media and more likely to complete registrations than the less represented Gen Z group. That said, 95% of website traffic during event week was generated by social media, so we are confident that the TikTok and social campaign hit the mark with the younger generation who traditionally do not register for events such as this.

The results suggest as much as a 10% increase in water literacy and at least a 23% improvement in knowledge regarding the quantity of water used for simple water using behaviours. The results to the survey one week after Water Night reported a 10% reduction in daily tap touches, proving our hypothesis that Water Night would highlight participants’ use of their taps so that they would become more mindful and reduce their use.

What Participants thought.....

"Well...that was a really interesting exercise. I am conscious of my water usage and have 2 rainwater tanks, one which is connected to the toilet. It is so easy to turn on the tap, though, we are spoilt here. I was thinking last night of people in other countries and the homeless who can't just reach for the tap. It was interesting to see the amount of water which some use for different things. The one which surprised me was cleaning teeth! '" S.Brake, WA.

"We are a family of two retirees whose children have long ago left home. We are very aware of sustainability issues, which included being very careful with water use, but we joined this to see how thoughtful we really are. Despite our heightened level of awareness." N and S Whitehouse, South Perth

Indicative testimonials from participants also suggest Water Night may have led to an increase in their awareness of their mindless tap touches and an increase in their value of water.

Were you one of the people who reached for your taps more than you thought?

Our research suggested households thought they would reach for their taps 9 times a day and use their toilet 5 times a day. Initial feedback from Water Night suggests participants reached out much more than they thought - were you one of them?

What happened?

Water Night 2021

We are delighted with how the inaugural Water Night went. We are proud to have launched such a significant water awareness initiative during what can only be described as a very trying year.

Chris Philpot and Zoe Palmer, Co-founders of Water Night.