Introducing “Water Hour”

A movement may have started on June 11th, this year. The first ever “Water Hour” was celebrated that day around the globe. As part of its promotion of the event, the Water Environment Federation notified the staff at H2Bid about the event. Water Hour is a different approach to the problem of water resource management and conservation; instead of a “doom and gloom” approach, the founders of Water Hour encourage people to take one hour to reconnect with water in their lives. By sharing positive stories of how water has shaped us or made us happy, the movement hopes to develop a sense of value in people that is associated with water in their lives.

Promoted by over 60 diverse environmental and conservation groups, the Water Hour founders reached out across the globe. So far they have solicited over 400,000 stories and affirmations from individuals. Technology paved the way for the call for the stories as well as the affirmations themselves; Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and YouTube all served as platforms for sharing these positive stories about water. A quick scan of the sites reveals the various ways that we view water: as sustenance, as recreation, as a means of travel, as a means to connect and as a livelihood. These stories are called “Water Moments,” they represent the moment that water became a tangible part of our lives.

Water Hour is a positive event; it does not ask participants to dwell on the negatives. Also, it is different by its very nature – a dispersed, almost individual event. The founders of the event address these differences by noting that Water Hour is like an engine, “your Water Moment is like an emotional spark that ignites the fuel, and the Water Hour celebration is the explosion of creativity and outreach that follows. Now the engine is running – so declaring your commitment to take action carries the inspiration of Water Hour forward to make a difference year-round.”

Though Water Hour has officially passed for 2010, the founders of the movement encourage people to contribute and interact as an online community year-round. They fully expect that these Water Moments will lead to collaboration and action by readers and observers of the sites. In fact, there are examples that indicate this is happening already. Some of the collaborative focus is aimed at making a larger impact during Water Hour 2011 while other discussion groups appear to be focusing on the health of the Great Lakes and even how to reduce the water-needs impact of biodiesel production.

Water Hour’s focus is certainly different from the usual conservation message and only time will tell if this new focus will be effective in the long run. From the editor’s perspective, however, the first Water Hour appears to have been a great success and certainly seems to have raised the awareness of many. If you would like to share your story with the broader community, browse to and contribute. Who knows, perhaps your anecdote will be the inspiration that drives a future conservationist or inventor!

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