John F. Kennedy believed that “anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel prizes – one for peace and one for science.” We agree.
But we also think that we cannot wait for others to solve the global challenges that we face. We must be part of the solution. At The Nature Conservancy, we’ve spent the last 62 years working to protect the lands and waters on which life depends. But we can’t do it alone.
Solving the critical water challenges we face requires everyone to be involved. That is why we are launching a new digital platform—H2.O—to engage new audiences in our freshwater work and to create an online community of water activists.
While 70% of our planet is covered by water, only 0.03% of it is easily accessible and drinkable. And many of the water resources that are available are under severe threats from development, over use, climate change, and pollution. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population could be living in water-stressed areas.
The Nature Conservancy has many of the solutions that can help protect water at its source; increase efficiencies in agriculture, which represents 70% of water withdrawals; and contribute to more balanced water use. But we can’t achieve the scale of change we need if people aren’t aware of our water challenges and advocating for change.
Knowing where your water comes from is the first step to protecting it. Unfortunately, far too many people are unaware of the water risks that we face globally or in their backyards. In fact, 77% of Americans don’t know where their water comes from.
H2.0 is an effort to engage a new audience that is actively online, engaged in social issues, and contributing to philanthropic causes, but largely unaware of our work.
Millennials (roughly people between the ages of 18-30) are a growing segment of our population, representing approximately 130 million people in the U.S. And over 50% of millennials make annual donations to charitable causes, representing $38.3 billion in annual giving in the U.S. alone.
These, and other audiences, need to be engaged in conservation—and we can’t wait for them to find us. We must actively cultivate and create an online community that is aware of global and local water issues and understands the role of nature in providing clean water.
H2.O is an interactive website that utilizes several unique features to attract and engage visitors, such as:
- Identifying visitor’s location to provide locally-relevant content about water supplies, the Conservancy’s efforts, and actions they can take to reduce water risks
- Extensive use of social media channels to spread our message through other people’s social networks, enabling visitors to share information about water and the Conservancy without leaving the H2.O experience
- New language, voice, and visuals to attract millennials and younger audiences in our work while maintaining a science-based, data-driven approach to conservation
- Use of new partnerships and tools such as Thunderclap to maximize the reach of our message and content.
It takes guts to take on the global challenges we face and to create a social movement to demand change – but we all have a role to play in addressing our global and local water crises.
Through H2.O and our associated marketing campaign, we’re asking visitors to show their “Liquid Courage” by joining us to help chart a new pathway to environmental sustainability.
The site will showcase how water and nature powers every element of their lives and how The Nature Conservancy protects and preserves these natural systems. With over 400 freshwater experts working on more than 100 projects in 35 countries, the Nature Conservancy is uniquely suited to take on these challenges.
Your involvement is critical.
We need your help to spread the word about H2.O through email and your social networks and to create a viral buzz by using the hashtag #LiquidCourage. Starting today, you can also be a part of our March 31stThunderclap, which enables users to coordinate their online sharing that will blast out a timed Facebook Post or Tweet, creating a wave of attention and amplifying our voices. You can also share the posts, images, and messages embedded in the H2.O website with your networks.
Our aim is to catalyze a conversation about water across digital platforms and to capture the attention of people across the country to get the conversation (and the water) flowing.
Join us, and help give the world a little liquid courage.
Opinions expressed on Conservancy Talk and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conservancy.