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European Commission - Press release

Environment: Wise up your water use with Water Maniac Walter

Brussels, 22 May 2012 – The European Commission launched a new viral clip today as part of the "Generation Awake!" campaign, which alerts consumers to the dangers of unsustainable patterns of consumption. The clip features Water Maniac Walter, a neurotic bucket who addresses the theme of excessive water use. The clip links to the Generation Awake website, a multilingual site intended to get citizens thinking about their consumption habits, and help them change their behaviour so as to live more sustainably.

[Please note that a video is embedded in the online version of this press release]

A number of other activities will also be launched this year as part of the campaign, including a new section on the website looking at the water footprint of goods such as jeans, hamburgers or beer. A video competition open to the general public will be launched in September 2012, and live events will be organised to inspire people and drive behaviour change in Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, in early autumn.


Generation Awake is the European Commission’s campaign on resource efficiency. The aim is to raise awareness about the environmental, economic, social and personal consequences of using resources unsustainably, and to trigger changes in consumption patterns and behaviour. Ultimately, the goal is to help citizens develop a responsible consumption reflex as a matter of routine.

Since its launch in October 2011, the campaign website, which is available in 23 EU languages, has generated over 200 000 page visits. The campaign video has been viewed by over 1 million people and the Facebook page ( has attracted close to 13 000 fans. The campaign has been specifically designed to address young urbans and families across the European Union, not only to build awareness about the importance of resource efficiency but also to encourage them to change their habits.

For more information:

Full details on the campaign's multilingual website:

The Campaign’s Facebook page:

Contacts :

Joe Hennon (+32 2 295 35 93)

Monica Westeren (+32 2 299 18 30)

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