In early 2021, our educational offering to schools was reassessed due to COVID-19 and we changed from the play and workshops delivered in schools, to online learning. We launched this brand-new initiative for educators and parents to supporting home-schooling and educate thousands of primary school pupils about the importance of water. 


Working closely with leading education agency Hopscotch Consulting, we developed The Ripple Effect, which is designed to change the way children think and feel about water. 


It’s a free online programme helping young people become more aware of how precious water is. Through interactive games, videos and activities, it also teaches them how to use water efficiently. 


The Ripple Effect was set up to be simple and effective for parents and teachers to use during the pandemic and the period of remote learning due to lockdown. 


This is one of the many steps we’re taking to future-proof our resources and raise awareness of our ambitious environmental goals. 


Tim Wagstaff, Lead Water Efficiency Manager, said: "The Ripple Effect invites school communities to think hard about the way they use water. Children now care more about how they treat the environment - it's the ‘Greta (Thunberg) Effect.’ 


"By making small changes to the way we use water, we can protect our precious water supplies. It’s really important that we properly educate the next generation so that we can create positive change for the future. 


"We use water for everything - cooking, cleaning, drinking, eating - and it's important that we value it and don’t take it for granted. On average, people use around 150 litres of water a day and water use has almost doubled in 60 years. As population and housing numbers are also increasing, this creates even more demand for water. 


"We also hope this programme will be of assistance to all of the incredible parents and teachers who are having to adapt to these strange ways of working under the current climate." 


Tiff Barwick, Deputy Managing Director at Hopscotch, added: "We're thrilled to be working with Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water to create The Ripple Effect.


"Water, after all, is a precious natural resource which warrants effective, focused and impactful learning opportunities from a young age. We feel proud to be supporting the organisation's mission to change people's behaviour surrounding water use." 


As part of the exciting new initiative, students train to become ‘Water Trackers' - expert protectors of water and guardians of the water cycle. 


There are two digital spaces for educators to explore with their students: 

  • Water Tracker Training Camp: A rich suite of activities that allow children to collect virtual badges as they complete challenges and gather important facts about water efficiency and the water cycle
  • Water Tracker House: Packed full of games, skills tests and challenges related to water-waste scenarios. 


Both journeys contain flexible, interactive resources for the classroom and remote learning. 


The programme is aimed at seven to 11-year-olds and gives educators the opportunity to sign their class up for free. It is also open to community groups. For more information,