Recognising water inequality

19th March 2015



This Sunday is World Water Day; a day to celebrate water, to make a difference to people around the globe who suffer from water-related issues, and focus on sustainable water use in the future.  As part of his Action at Home project, Ryan held a film screening, presentation and activity evening to raise awareness of the issues around one of our most precious resources.


The theme for World Water Day 2015 is ‘Water and Sustainable Development’, recognising that equal access to water underpins all other development goals. Ryan screened the award-winning documentary FLOW: For the Love of Water, at the University of Aberdeen, to raise awareness of global water inequality. FLOW emphasises the serious environmental and social effects of the multi-billion dollar bottled water industry, which has expanded rapidly since 1997. Ryan was also able to use his Action at Home project as part of his studies.

“The film screening had a direct impact on my studies as I am now researching into the commodification of water and how the privatization of water is creating greater inequality in nations across the globe for a politics essay.

For those who attended the event, they seemed to really engage with the film and the presentation too. The presentation was about ICS in general, and about the water conservation projects I worked on whilst in Nicaragua during one of the country’s worst droughts in recent years.”

Three of the attendees are now interested in applying for ICS. What’s more, all attendees said they would now try to buy less bottled water and also wanted to spread the messages conveyed in the film.

“The film made me more aware about the bottled water industry and its lack of regulation, and I did not realise how privatized the global water industry is.” – Douglas, student

“During the presentation (with the help of two fellow volunteers) I ran an activity, asking the attendees to select which type of water they would choose based on five bottled water brands and plain old tap water. After the film, I asked them the same question. Most of the attendees said they would now choose the tap water option. Furthermore, after the film finished I asked attendees to taste the water and tell me whether it was sparkling, mineral, table, and tap or deionized water. Only half guessed correctly, proving that many bottled water brands are no different in taste to tap water.

I chose to raise awareness about water inequality as my Action at Home project as I believe that film can be a very effective means of conveying an important message to people. I felt that by linking my ICS experience with the film I could convey more effectively the steps that can be taken around the world from a grassroots level to address the issue of water contamination and scarcity, and the inequality this causes.”


Water was declared a human right by the UN in 2010, yet today 780 million people have inadequate access to clean, safe drinking water. What are you doing for to support World Water Day? Let us know at