This year marks United Nations’ International Year of Water Cooperation, World Water Day taking place on March 22nd. To kick things off, Cool It Schools is launching its new competition ‘Hot Water’, which invites the nation’s young people to make a short film with a big mission; to alert everyone to the fact that our reserves of fresh water – even here in the UK – are under threat, due to the on-going use and abuse of one of our greatest natural resources. Urgent attention must also be paid to the decimation of ocean and river life though overfishing, acidification and pollution.

2012 was the wettest year on record, with flood, ruined crops, sewer spills… Whilst it was raining cats and dogs, it may have seemed that all was fine and dandy on the water front; but the storing of this rain, keeping it clean enough to drink and grow food with, is all part of the challenge.

To paint a clearer picture: only less than 0.5% of the world’s water is of any use to us. Imagine that a bucket full to the brim represents the planet’s known water reserves: just a teaspoon-full represents our useable fresh water – the rest is saltwater!

On average, we each use over 150 litres of tap water a day – including our endless tea breaks, dripping taps, loo flushing, overfilling kettles, chin deep baths and power showers! – which is well above the European average.

In search of a solution, Cool It Schools are inviting young people to create an inspirational, behaviour-changing film of TV advert length (no more than 50 seconds) that will aim to help put a stop to our bad water habits once and for all.

They hope that these films will express how young people feel and how they want to change things; whether it’s a four year-old tadpole expert, a teenager who turns people on to turning taps off or a twenty-five year-old with a vision for solving water poverty. Every film that is submitted will be shown on the Cool It Schools website –

Prizes for the winning teams are provided by DK Books, Derwent Coloured Pencils, Ohyo Collapsible Bottles, Delphis Eco, Kudlian Softwear Animate it, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust and Nice and Serious. Oscars will be handmade by textile artist Lucy Moose. Winning films will be screened at the British Film Institute in South Bank, London on November 26th 2013, alongside the presentation of the Hot Water awards.

The winning films will be screened across the UK with the help of digital media, cinemas, blogging and other social media, in order spread this vital message round the world.

Competition open for young people from 4 years- to 25 years old. Categories 4-11,12-16, 17-25.

Key Dates:

Hot Water Film Competition
Opens at 11am on World Water Day 22nd March
The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Centre
Queen Elizabeth’s Walk
SW 13 9WT

Competition deadline for entries midnight October 30th 2013.

Hot Water Award Ceremony 26th November 2013 at NFT 3, The British Film Institute, South Bank, London. Time 11am.