Cape Town’s Day Zero, what could it mean for UK Water Companies?


Around the world public awareness is beginning to rise about the imminent arrival of Cape Town’s Day Zero, when the city will become the first major metropolitan area in the world to run out of water.

Thankfully, in the UK we haven’t suffered the same catastrophic drop in the level of rainfall that has struck Cape Town. However, we know consumers and businesses in the UK tend to take their water supply for granted. Cape Town’s problem will push water conservation to the fore and may provide an opportunity to engage UK consumers and spur them into changing their behaviours.

While the primary cause of the drought in Cape Town is climate change, if the public had changed behaviour earlier Day Zero could have been avoided or further delayed.

Educating consumers about the need to save water, and why it benefits them in the long-term is an issue in the UK just as it is in South Africa. While we do not share the severity of Cape Town’s problems, we do need to conserve water in order to manage a finite resource, lessen our environmental impact, and reduce the cost of producing safe, clean water.

At Trinity McQueen we have helped water companies in the UK to develop effective consumer campaigns. Initially, by understanding the reasons why people currently waste water (generally without being aware that they are doing it) and, secondly, by testing the effectiveness of campaigns designed to change their behaviour.

We believe our approach is industry leading in effecting consumer change. If you would like to find out more, please get in touch.

Andrew Magee, Associate Director 

Chris Handford