Water Explorer: Making every drop count 9 September 2016 Progamme Officer Rachel Toogood reflects on our Water Explorer programme as it enters Year 3 of delivery The beginning of the school year is an exciting time, not least for us at Global Action Plan, with the launch of Year 3 of Water Explorer, our award-winning water conservation programme for schools. Supported by HSBC, the programme offers free resources for schools, engaging students in behaviour change around their water use. So far, 99,000 students across 11 countries have completed a challenge to save water. These bright young minds are demonstrating that stopping to think about water use and making simple changes can have a big impact – saving enough water to fill 690 Olympic swimming pools to date! Taking a ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach to inspiring action, the Water Explorer programme is designed to make tackling critical water issues simple and relevant for the young people we’re working with. However, solving the global freshwater crisis through behaviour change stretches much further than turning the taps off when brushing your teeth. The different focus areas within the programme help students to realise the extent to which they can be water-wise. Knowledge can be a barrier to change, so Water Explorer informs students of the right water-saving behaviours to adopt, and couples this with both reward and competition to motivate action. Water Explorer students across the world have hosted 150 Water Festivals, and are switching entire schools and communities onto sustainability. One educator told us that Water Explorer is, ‘Something the children loved and felt connected to. They took home the knowledge to start a cycle of behaviour change in order to help reduce our water wastage’. In October, we’ll be welcoming the top Water Explorers from around the world to London to celebrate their achievements, share their stories and crown the international top team. As the new academic year dawns, we’re excited about working with new and existing teams who will make a big splash to tackle the world’s freshwater crisis through the power of behaviour change.