A lawn-owning, water-wasting consumer vs. a thirsty, angry crowd, and people pretending to recreate with water that’s not there, are the subjects of witty Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos that hit home with the public as the California drought heads into its fourth year.
The PSAs were created by The Bay Foundation (TBF) as part of a Community Partnership Outreach grant from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), to engage the public and promote energy and water conservation.
“We thought humor would be a way to help people face the severity of the drought, while reminding all of us that we are each capable of changing a few aspects of our daily routines to conserve significant amounts of water, meaning millions of gallons,” says Tom Ford, TBF Executive Director. “By doing so we come together as a community managing our shared water resources, and feel duly empowered. So tune in, have a laugh, and for goodness sakes, turn off your faucet!”
Last week, as Governor Brown announced more drastic reductions on water use, the first water video, entitled “Desert Delivery” caught the eye of key online outlets and social media, and viewership jumped from 2,000 views to over 11,000 views.
The second water video, “Pretend” was just released, and can be viewed HERE. Both videos were directed by filmmaker Ryan Maples, Xlantic Inc., and co-written by Breyen Katz.
In addition to the two water PSAs, the first PSA in the grant focused on energy savings and rebates, also using humor to educate and inspire active change. Entitled “Power Spinning” and directed by filmmaker Ricky Qi, it can be viewed HERE.
The PSAs—currently seen across social media and in community newsletters, as well as on local TV, at film festivals, and in select theaters—may be funny, but they share important, easy-to-use ideas on how to reduce energy and water consumption.
“Desert Delivery” promotes implementing rainwater harvesting techniques (i.e., rain barrels, cisterns, and swales) to conserve the use of potable water. “Pretend” jars people into thinking about situations in which we take water for granted, with special focus on replacing a residential lawn with drought-tolerant, native landscaping to reduce both water and energy use. Water conservation and energy efficiency are important to the missions of both LADWP and TBF.
The LADWP Community Partnership Outreach program granted funds to multiple non-profit organizations in the City to inform and energize residents and businesses to reduce their energy and water use, and benefit from lower utility bills. The program assists non-profit organizations, such as TBF, to creatively reach populations that may not be addressed through more traditional communication strategies and to affect behavior change, with the hope of applying such methods and strategies to future LADWP and other City programs.
“LADWP is pleased to work with The Bay Foundation through this Community Partnership grant. These substantial grants are an investment in education and awareness that will help us encourage more of our customers to conserve electricity and water as we transition to a more sustainable energy supply and deal with severe drought conditions,” says Nancy Sutley, LADWP Chief Sustainability and Economic Development Officer.
Moving beyond watching the videos and taking note of ideas, TBF’s upcoming volunteer events offer opportunities for the public to actively help save water and learn about drought tolerant plants, rain gardens (or California Friendly or drought tolerant) and more. See TBF’s Events page: http://www.santamonicabay.org/events/.
For more information about LADWP’s California Friendly® Landscape Incentive Program and other Water Conservation tips and programs, visit www.ladwp.com/wc.