This article is written by AWS Asia-Pacific partner Smart Approved WaterMark.

Research, conducted by not for profit water efficiency specialists, Smart Approved WaterMark, has revealed Australia’s addiction to using their taps. Despite being the world’s driest inhabited continent, Australia is on autopilot when using tap water. Experts state that if Australian’s were more conscious – more mindful – when reaching for taps they would value water, cut unnecessary use and save more. They conclude that by abandoning auto pilot, Australians will want to use less, resulting in pocket savings too.

In a bid to make Australians aware of how often they use their taps, Smart Approved WaterMark has launched a national challenge – Water Night. Participants will challenge themselves not to use their taps from 5pm – 5am on 22 October 2020. Instead of running water they will manage with one bucket for the night for everything (excluding COVID-safe handwashing, toilet flushing and for religious purposes).

When this activity was trialled as part of the Australia’s Relationship with Water study, Smart Approved WaterMark witnessed how it improved the water mindfulness of the participants, not to mention their water literacy and attitudes towards water efficiency. 55% of the research participants said they were addicted to their taps, 69% said they’d freak out if their taps stopped working with 63% concluding they think they could save more water than they do.

Smart Approved WaterMark Chief Executive Officer Chris Philpot, said: “Our interviewees were shocked at how subconsciously they reached for the tap, even when we asked them not to. When they shared their experience, they said it was really hard to not turn a tap and that they had to wrap a cloth or towel around the tap to stop them trying it to turn it on… they said they realised turning the tap was such a second nature thing that it was really hard to stop. We encourage all Australians to sign up to Water Night to improve their water mindfulness.”

Water mindfulness is key to improving water literacy too with 65% of Baby Boomers having high literacy compared to just 14% of Gen Z. To help increase these rates Smart Approved WaterMark is providing a package of free online Water Night resources to inform and inspire Australia’s youth about our most precious resource.

Research also shows 45% of Aussies claim they save water, more mindfully, than their neighbours. The household challenge is on.

Australian TV personality, Gorgi Coghlan, is an ambassador for the campaign and will be participating in the Water Night challenge with her family.

Also doing their bit to back the campaign are Australian Tiktokers including Jasmine XTO and Rory Eliza alongside gardening aficionadas and water efficiency fans, Jane Edmanson, Sophie Thomson and Costa Georgiadis, all presenters of ABC’s Gardening Australia.

Water Services Association Australia and Australian Water Association, Power and Water, Water Corporation, Sydney Water, Planet Ark and WaterAid. Councils including Tweedshire, Eurobodalla, Dubbo, Tamworth and Liverpool Plains and more are also supporting the challenge.

Sign up for Water Night at waternight.com.au and improve your water mindfulness.

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