With a rising population and falling rainfall, East Anglia faces challenges in ensuring a sustainable supply of water into the future.
Anglian Water manages the supply of water to the region and is required to submit a five-year investment plan to Ofwat in 2019. As any investment in infrastructure will be reflected in household bills, a large amount of quantitative and qualitative data was needed from its customers to capture consumer opinion around water resilience and to inform the plan.
Consumers are disinclined to engage with utility businesses, but by applying design thinking to the public consultation work, ‘H2OMG!’ was conceived. Taking inspiration from summer family activities the interactive, funfair themed, community engagement event resonated with parents and children alike.
The concept was both engaging and educational – with activities such as ‘Beating the Bog’ stimulating conversations about saving water in the loo – and the cost per contact was lower than traditional methods of consultation. Over 3 million people were reached and 33,000 were attracted to engage in the consultation. Against a target of 8,000 specific interactions with ‘H2OMG!’, 21,000 were actually achieved over six days.