Published 7 years ago.
About a 5 minute read.
Has a water crisis touched you or your community this year? You probably know that 2016 was a big headline year for water, from California’s lingering drought to Flint’s public health disaster. Here in East Tennessee, where we rarely worry about the availability of fresh water, the idea of scarcity hit home this fall in an unprecedented way: We endured our most severe drought in nearly ten years, setting the stage for a massive wildfire that ripped through the tourist town of Gatlinburg and killed at least 14 people.
Still, while scary headlines draw national attention for a moment, do they resonate with the public as pieces of a broader pattern? It’s one thing for those of us with a commitment to the environment to wrap our heads around a water crisis — it’s another to get that message across to average consumers.
And of course, there are two big reasons to make consumers aware: As a community of responsible brands, we want to persuade them to use water wisely, and we want them to see value in our own efforts to do the right thing and be water-efficient.
As part of Shelton Group’s annual Eco Pulse™ study this year, we polled more than 2,000 Americans and Canadians to gauge their awareness of global and national water issues — and to see how those lined up with their purchases and behaviors (If you want to read more about our findings, you can download our full report here).
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Our big takeaways:
We think it’s high time for smart education on this issue — done in a way that taps underlying emotional drivers that make water conservation feel real, personal, and self-affirming. The water crisis isn’t going away anytime soon. To deal with it effectively, you need to get consumers on board.
Published Dec 20, 2016 6pm EST / 3pm PST / 11pm GMT / 12am CET
Suzanne Shelton is CEO of Shelton Group, the nation’s leading marketing communications firm entirely focused in the sustainability and energy efficiency sectors.