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Rand Water Scores International Water Wise Goal Again


Rand Water’s Water Wise Education Team has won the “School information programme” category of the International Water Association (IWA) Marketing & Communications Award for 2010. The winners of each category will now be judged against each other and an overall winner will be announced at the “IWA – Project Innovation Awards Banquet” in September 2010 during the IWA World Water Congress (19-24 September) in Montreal, Canada. Rand Water also received a Highly Recommended certificate in the “Customer services activities” category as well.

This competition is arranged by the IWA’s Specialist Group on Marketing & Communications every two years, the purpose of which is twofold:

  • to enhance an integrated and sustainable view on water as the essential good.
  • to heighten awareness among water utilities world wide of the increasing importance of establishing professional and effective communications with users of water and water services.

There are 5 categories within the award:

  • Best popular presentation of water science
  • Best promoted water protection activity or programme
  • School information programme
  • Customer services activities
  • Best water professionals recruiting programme.

Entries to the award need to reflect any aspect concerned with the provision of water and wastewater services. Each entry needed to be presented on a poster and needed to have been published in 2008 or later.

Rand Water entered 11 posters for consideration in the IWA Awards, 6 in the “School information programme” category, 4 in the “Customer services activities” category and 1 in the “Best water professionals recruiting programme” category. The winning poster reflected “The Water Wise Arena”, which is an inflatable foosball activity that links the “Water Wise” message to soccer and is used for educational workshops for schools. The basis of the activity is an enlarged version of table soccer with children being tied to ropes within the arena. They then play a game of soccer using the Earth as a soccer ball for a period of time. At the end of the game they are then asked to look at the ball. “Did they see that it was the Earth?” “Why did they abuse the Earth and all its resources by kicking it around?” “Why do they do this everyday of their lives?” “Do they think that they were “Water Wise”?” It is important that everyone respects the Earth and all its resources. At this stage an enlarged Earth is brought into the Arena and the children have to hold the Earth in their hands. The 6 meanings of being “Water Wise” are then covered, i.e.

Click here to view the six meanings in an interactive format.

The children love the interactiveness of the game. They have a great deal of fun and at the end of the game they get the feeling of holding the Earth in their hands. It is their responsibility to look after the Earth and its water! Some examples of functions where the activity has been used are: Environment Day at the Johannesburg Zoo; the Water Wise Holiday Programme for staff children; programmes at libraries and botanical gardens; Rotary functions; Water Week functions; and functions during the Soccer World Cup. The game has been played with children with disabilities and has worked very well. It truly is an edutaining activity!

Rand Water also received a Highly Recommended certificate in the “Customer services activities” category for:

  • the “Kick off with Water Wise/Score with Tap Water” dial brochure that was developed to promote the quality of tap water and the “Water Wise” message to people visiting South Africa.
  • the “Open the Door to a Water Wise House” z-card brochure that covers water saving tips inside the house and in the garden.

Rand Water uses the “Water Wise” brand (since 1997) in order to promote water conservation within its area of supply and the whole of South Africa. The Water Wise Education Team is a team of dynamic staff at four centres in Rand Water’s area of service who expose learners and teachers to the meaning of being “Water Wise” through hands-on, edutaining (educational & entertaining) workshops, roadshows and education material.

For the past 13 years, Rand Water’s Water Wise Education Team has been scoring “Water Wise” goals in the lives of many learners and teachers that have been exposed to the “Water Wise” message through this educational service. The team also won the “School information programme” category in 2008 and went on to win the 2008 IWA Marketing & Communications Award. The process of adjudication and calibre of judges for the IWA Awards is very high. For Rand Water to be competing at this global level and being successful is testimony to the ongoing innovation and commitment of our staff that are involved in the areas concerned. Few organisations ever receive such awards once and rarely twice. I guess THIS TIME FOR AFRICA AGAIN. Let’s hope that the team scores another goal in Canada! 

For more information on Rand Water’s Water Wise Education Team please phone Grant Pearson on 011 682 0278.