Help us create a map of public engagement across the UK water sector!

Posted: 17.07.2020

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Author: Dr. Emma Westling, Research Associate, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, The University of Sheffield.


Research as part of the TWENTY65 project has shown that there are many country-wide initiatives that encourage communities, households and individuals to improve water services across the UK. However, they often operate in isolation to address a specific problem. This means that learning about  public engagement efforts across water issues, organisations and localities is not often shared.


To tackle this, we aim to design a database and interactive map of water engagement projects across the UK. The resources will help us better understand what effective partnerships look like. However, we can’t do it alone! We are looking for organisations to tell us about the projects we might not have captured so far. 


If you think you can help, read on to find out more. 


Introducing Mobilisations’


Research as part of the TWENTY65 projects looks at how water organisations (such as Water Companies, NGOs, Local Authorities, the Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales) work in partnership with households and communities to improve water services related to water efficiency, water quality, drainage and flooding.


A woman is crouched down filling her watering can from a water but. In the foreground there are plant pots filled with colourful flowers and foliage.


These partnerships may include water companies asking people to take a shorter shower, install a water butt, not disposing of fat down the kitchen sink or flushing wet wipes down the toilet. It could also involve environmental interest groups working with communities helping to spot and report pollution problems or partnerships with farmers to minimise pesticide runoff.


In our research, we call these partnerships ‘Mobilisations’ and what they have in common is that they include a water organisation working with people and encouraging them to take action in order to improve our water system.


How do the database and map work?


An online database of projects would:

  • Raise awareness and the profile of mobilisation activities as an important form of water management in the UK
    • Celebrate effective partnerships
  • Enable learning about mobilisations across projects, issues, organisations and localities.
    • What do effective mobilisations look like?
  • Enable evaluation of what issues mobilisation projects address and what is missing
    • What issues are not covered?
    • What publics are not currently engaged?
  • Help us to understand how mobilisation projects may shape future water management in the UK.A map of the UK has green pins pointing at locations where public engagement projects relating to the water sector are taking place across the country.

Think you have a project that fits the bill? Tell us about it!


Are you/your organisation involved in a project where members of the public are encouraged to act or change their water related practices? Then we are keen to hear from you, to find out more about how you and your organisations are working with households and communities to improve our water services.


Take the survey


To make sure that your project is represented as part of the database, please fill out the survey before the 21 of August 2020, when the survey will close.


Can’t contribute to the database but still want to help? Spread the word!


It may be that you can’t contribute directly to our work by filling out the survey, but you can still help us by spreading the word about it. To help us track how far it reaches, don’t forget to include our project hashtag #actionforwaterUK in your social media posts.


Visit our website if you’d like to find out more about our research and the survey.


Thank you for your help!


Dr Emma Westling

Dr Liz Sharp

Ms Fatima Ajia