Community Water FairsRaising Awareness of the Water Environment
Look out for this logo for the next water
Organic roofs showing their roofing
Through the numerous activities we undertake we have met a wide range of people living and working within the Adur and Ouse catchment, all with different levels of knowledge in regards to the water environment, its impact on communities and individuals and the impact which these have on the water environment. Following the release of the West Sussex County Council Operation Watershed fund OART applied for a grant to put on the first Sussex based Water Fair in order to establish the current level of community awareness and where organisations such as OART should be focusing campaigns and future work.
Prior to the event 2500 questionnaires were distributed within the town and was also made available online, these questionnaires were developed in conjunction with the Environment Agency, West Sussex Flood Resilience Team, South Downs National Park, Sussex Wildlife Trust and Southern Water to ensure that they were relevant across the members of the Adur & Ouse partnership.
Held in Steyning in March 2014 the event was focused on the subjects of flooding, community flood resilience, water quality and water usage. The event was well attended with over 400 members of the community giving up some of their time to come and learn about the work which organisations are undertaking within the catchment as well as providing information to us on any concerns which they have. We received over 300 responses to the survey which have now been written into a report and disseminated to the Adu & Ouse Partnership as well as back to the community.
Following the success of this event we worked in partnership with the Sussex Flow Initiative project to host a second fair in Lewes in March 2015. Whilst this event saw a lower attendance and less questionnaires returned it was still a good opportunity to engage with the community.
With more Water Fairs planned we are hoping to be able to build a catchment wide data set which will show the differences in knowledge and awareness between different demographic groups. Watch the website to find out when and where the next event will be held.
Our thanks must go to the following organisations who have attended one or both of these events, without them the Water Fair would not exist.
- West Sussex County Council & the Operation Watershed Fund
- Sussex Flow Initiative
- Sussex Wildlife Trust
- South Downs National Park
- Environment Agency
- East Sussex County Council
- Lewes District Council
- University of Brighton
- Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere Reserve
- Southern Water
- South East Water
- Organic Roofs
- Campaign for the Farmed Environment
- South Downs Mineral Water Company
- Clearstone Paving
- Lewes Railway Land Wildlife Trust
- Adur & Ouse Partnership
- National Flood Forum
- UK Rainwater Harvesting Association