Following yesterday’s blogpost, we will move from our visit to Dunea into a brief overview of our pilot project in the Hague. This post will review where we failed and succeeded in our efforts in the Hague. One of the major demands of the model which our project takes on is integration and connection within the relevant city. Most our actions were thus in pursuit of this.
To get started, we created a survey which could be accessed on our website in order to gauge the perception which the citizens of the Hague have of their drinking water system. We advertised this online via social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), and gave out flyers. We were lucky enough to have our project pitched in the newsletter of “duurzaam”, and lastly emailed as many people as we could find. The flyers didn’t work so well because we spent a lot of time handing them out for few survey results, and our social media efforts also didn’t get a lot of attention. What seemed to work best was contacting organizations to ask them to contact their members about the CWP.
In further efforts, we entered the Hague Innovators Challenge of 2017, which if we had won it would have gotten us capital, exposure, and further contacts within the Hague. Unfortunately we did not win. Defeated, but not discouraged we gained valuable feedback on our project. Licking our wounds, we stepped to the Innovators Hub, more specifically the organisation of Humanityx. A center for social entrepreneurship, focused on innovation through the acquiring of data, we realised that most of the efforts in Humanityx or the Innovators Hub were not related to drinking water quality within the Hague or other cities. They did however, provide us with two valuable leads.
First was Museon, a museum for science and culture in the Hague that focuses largely on youth involvement and citizen science. From there, we gained a contact person at the OPCW. Jonathan E. Forman invited us for a tour of their facilities to later take us into a meeting room where he demonstrated his simple yet effective efforts that he had undergone relating to citizen science and getting youth involved. Handling the kit like an excited scientist (which he was) he showed us how he had ingeniously attached water testing kits to an amphibious drone that could collect water samples from various sites in Den Haag. Before his demonstration had come an insightful explanation of the “off the shelf” water testing kits and their efficacy. This gave us an understanding of the possible water testing kits that we could invest in in potential future projects.
In conclusion, our efforts here in the Hague were fun, exciting, new, informative, and humbling.
We found that in the Hague our ethos of connecting people to drinking water utility was less relevant. People were at ease with the drinking water quality with which they are provided. In addition, it is relatively easy to get in contact with Dunea and they are quite approachable through the outlets that they have. It seems however that drinking water quality is not a worry on the mind of the people of our little, busy, engaged the Hague.