Overview of the public relations work in the field of water
Water is an important issue in the public eye, which is why it is important to provide information to and raise water awareness among the population with the assistance of high-quality projects.
Water is becoming an always more important concern to people. Whether we are talking about our rivers, our clean lakes, the utilisation of hydropower, our drinking water or floods: Austrians are in touch with water issues. For many years already, the Ministry has taken targeted activities and launched campaigns to enhance the presence of water resources in public awareness. Their objective is to make people aware of the great value of water, to encourage them to deal carefully with it and to point out dangers, while at the same time informing them about the enjoyment factor and the recreational value of water. The EU Water Framework Directive with the involvement of the people in the public participation process constitutes another important milestone in the development. The public relations work on the topic of water has taken up a future- and service-oriented position by applying cutting edge communication technologies, such as Facebook, Google Earth and the interactive platform of wasseraktiv.
Efforts to achieve the Ministry’s objective of raising public awareness for water are taken in the following projects:
World Water Day March 22
In 1992 the United Nations declared March 22 the World Water Day. Every year special activities are undertaken on this day to emphasise the importance of water, the protection of water resources and their sustainable use. Numerous events are organised in Austria every year on this occasion.
The "Wasseraktiv" platform offers the public the opportunity to get up-to-date information on water and to participate in campaign events.
Every day information is provided on interesting water topics, event calendars, and tips around the valuable resource of water. When the need arises, current information is provided on topics such as floodwaters and water levels or on the temperature of bathing waters or lake ice thickness. The interactive platform has also some other interesting information to offer. More information can be found on the interactive platform wasseraktiv.
Apart from adults interested in environmental issues, especially young people are an important target group; one priority project, entitled “Generation Blue”. This website provides young people and also teachers with important information on water issues, activities to participate in, great water videos and an especially provided school service. Generation Blue is also on Facebook.
Neptune Water Award
The Neptune Water Award was founded in 1999. Since then the people have been invited to submit the best ideas related to water. The categories include both specialist categories and an audience category. Every two years, more than one thousand projects are submitted to this already well-established water award. Award ceremony events generate public recognition for the project ideas. On the internet available at "wasserpreis".
On June 29th, the day of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention attention is attached to the importance of the Danube as a habitat. The Danube Day and the various events in the whole Danube area around this day are a visible sign for that. Also in Vienna there will be again a Danube Day event this year. More information on the Danube Day.
Contact person at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management for this public relations projects platform: Susanne Brandstetter.