The statistics around water consumption are staggering. And while taking shorter showers or even skipping showers all together can save significant amounts of water, these personal conservation tips are nothing compared to the bigger, thornier question of how we tackle water use in agriculture, manufacturing and other industrial processes.
Wonderwater, a new pop up cafe which has already made appearances in Beijing and Helsinki, is looking to set the record straight and spark new conversations about the realities of water use:
- Water scarcity will be an increasingly critical issue as global populations rocket towards 9bn in 2050, as reported by scientists at the World Water Week conference in Stockholm this week
- Currently, the average UK citizen consumes 4,645 litres of water per day, with more than 60% of this water coming from overseas (www.waterfootprint.org)
- The water we consume 'indirectly' through the production of major items such as food, clothing and paper is far greater than our domestic water use, which accounts for just 150 litres per day.
Visitors to the cafe, which will be setting up at Leila's Shop in Shoreditch as part of the London Design Festival from the 12th to the 23rd September, will be able to select items from the menu that have low, medium and high water footprints, while perusing backdrops with infographics and "surprising facts" about water consumption.
As Simran Sethi's recent TED talk explained, assailing people with facts is not always the best way to create change. It's in making the personal connections between the issues and how they impact our daily lives and the lives of our loved ones that we start to see people behaving differently.
It will be interesting to see whether Wonderwater can serve up that kind of consciousness shift on its menu.