Mobilising the community to protect water resources
One of the most effective ways to protect important water resources is to mobilise the community; individuals or organisations to be partners in ecosystem protection. This is being done quite effectively in Australia.
For this approach to be effective:
- Requires identification of leaders at the grassroots level who can convey to the community the importance of protecting the resource.
- Knowledge transfer/training – the local leaders need to be provided with training to appreciate basic scientific facts – for example, what constitutes pollution, the link between land and water, the role of stormwater runoff in water pollution, the link between community well-being and water quality etc.
- The local leaders could then be encouraged to disseminate this message widely.
Mobilising school teachers and school children would be an effective approach in this regard.
- Scientific experiments that the students undertake could revolve around water quality/pollution.
- School excursions/field trips could involve understanding catchment management principles and the linkage to water pollution.
These school children as they grow up would be the most ardent supporters in the protection of our precious water resources. What is essentially required is the creation of teaching resources. These resources are already available and only needs to be tailored to suit the particular country/region.