Reducing water pollution is critical for protecting aquatic life, ensuring public health, achieving social justice, and fomenting a resilient and thriving economy. Currently, many types of contaminants run through the world’s rivers, streams, basins and oceans, including synthetic chemicals, plastics, nitrates and fecal coliform. Behind each of these different sources lies a chain of people who engage in behaviors that lead up to the pollution we see today.
Some of these behaviors include littering, dumping raw sewage into fields, depositing industrial waste into waterways, and using and overusing synthetic fertilizers (more examples in the FAQs below). Therefore, solving water pollution will require changing those behaviors that are contributing to it. To achieve this, the traditional tools of information, rules and regulations and financial incentives must be complemented with strategies rooted in behavioral science, including emotional appeals, social influences and choice architecture.
Fortunately, solutions that aim to do just this are already starting to emerge worldwide. This Solution Search is designed to surface, spotlight and accelerate the most promising of these approaches.
We are asking organizations worldwide: How have you promoted behaviors that reduce water pollution?