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3rd Place Pelican Water Scholarship Winner: Hannah Newell

Hannah Newell is a graduate of Western Washington University and the third place winner in the 2015 Pelican Water Scholarship Contest, winning $500. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations with a major in advertising and a minor in photography. In the past, she’s worked as an assistant at the Seattle Children’s Museum.

We were impressed with Hannah’s suggestion that we utilize social media and popular streaming video sites to educate younger people on the need for water conservation, and her very insightful observation that living in a water-rich nation creates a disconnect between the water we use and our water supply. Below is her submission to the scholarship contest. Congratulations Hannah, and best wishes for your future studies!


Imagine a World Without Water by Hannah Newell

What are some ways to instill a greater sense of urgency with water conservation in

young people and what would be the marketing slogan Pelican Water would use to

highlight the new campaign?

Imagine a world without water. A place where lakes, rivers, swimming pools and water fountains

run dry. No swimming, no boats, or a refreshing toe dip in alpine pools. A world without water is

quite shocking and ultimately inhospitable.

The human race would not be able to live without water and as our world continues to turn we

are quickly depleting this life giving resource every day. You take a shower and your using

water. Feel thirsty? Run the faucet and use water. Your shirt smells funny? Put it in the washing

machine that fills with water. You finish dinner and your plates are dirty, put them in the

dishwasher that splashes them with water. We use water in every aspect of our lives, but the

scale of the population that realize how integral this resource is to our daily activities is fairly

small. We take it for granted because it is so readily available for us. We push a button, turn a

faucet, even touch an electronic motion detector and water just appears!

This generation of millennials like the past few generations have grown up in a society where all

these technologies exist. They may have little logos stating the energy efficiency and low water

pressure on dishwashers, washing machines and such, but this automatic access to water is

still prevalent as a societal norm giving the idea of water shortages a far-fetched sort of feeling.

We’ve become so used to the idea that water just appears in our house that a large portion of

the population doesn’t realize where that water is coming from. We’ve become disconnected

from our water system that we rely heavily on machines and technology to deliver us this life

giving resource.

What if water wasn’t so readily available? What if we lived in a world where the only resource for

water was a small well in the middle of the United States? This idea has parallel imagery to

some third world countries who already have to source their water from a river miles away from

their homes, carrying it on their heads and shoulders. One large difference in the image that is

being portrayed in this campaign is that each person will have to carry every last drop of water

that they use for an entire year back to their home that is hundreds of miles away. If you own a

business, increase the water to four times the amount. Own a swimming pool? Add that weight

to your back. If you have a yard or house plants, add extra water for them as well. Each drop

adds up and once people realize how much water they actually use compared to what is

available, they will start to realize how dire this issue is and rise into action to conserve and cut

back their water usage.

The slogan Pelican Water can use to highlight the urgency of water conservation in youth is as


“Carry the weight of your water”

This campaign can use a variety of media to relay the message of water conservation. Such

media include full color print ads in magazines and newspapers, a 30 second clip on Vimeo that

can translate to commercials for Youtube, Hulu or other online streaming services. Using social

media and the Pelican website to encourage discussion and exploration into the topic is a great

way to engage the current generation and make them feel like they are part of the cause.

Another great avenue for this campaign would be public art in large metropolitan cities where

people can interact with the campaign through an emotional avenue.

Print: Images of a large crowd of people from all over the world centered around a tiny well in a

vast desert landscape invoking images of a world without water and the scarcity of what will be

left for use.

Video: A closeup of a person’s face experiencing extreme exertion as they climb up a hill. The

camera pans out to focus on what the person is carrying. On the person there are buckets, bags

and bottles hanging from all physical extremities as well as a train of large wagons filled with

jugs of water being lugged up a small hill.

Social Media: Use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler to

spread awareness of current water conservation actions and issues going on in the world with

use of scholarly articles, interviews and photos that thoughtfully display the issues that people

face without water and what they are trying to do to prevent further damage to the water table.

Direct links to Pelican Water products can become action points for people to start conserving

water in their own home.

Online: Create questionnaires that determine the amount of water a person uses and fill digital

images of bottles, buckets and cans with water that the avatar person would end up carrying.

Once the avatar is completed the page can redirect to a list of ways to conserve water at home

with links to Pelican Water products and other DIY solutions.

Public Art: A sculpture of a person, very similar to the video imagery where every inch of them

is covered in some sort of container that is carrying water. A plaque at the foot of the sculpture

can indicate it’s purpose as well as point the public to resources to learn more through a QR

code tag that directs to the Pelican Water webpage with conservation tools and actions.

Using all these different media outlets that are frequented by the youth of today will attract much

needed attention to the issue of water conservation. Putting an image to the problem will create

a stronger emotional response within the current generation of youth.

Starting the campaign in the state of California will allow people to relate to this issue on a very

personal level as their draughts have continually increased in severity, leaving the state in a

extreme water crisis. They are desperate to learn about water conserving tools and tricks that

can be implemented in their own homes. Starting in Western states will allow the campaign to

find a strong footing in the population’s awareness since this particular area of the United States

is already experiencing water shortages. Once the awareness has increased on the Western

side, the campaign can flow into the rest of the United States bringing awareness to the entire


Water shortages have already begun and it is time to take action as an individual to conserve

water in your own home. This needs to be a global movement that each person needs to take

on as their own personal responsibility.

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