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H2OMG festival at the Forum in Norwich aims to open people’s eyes to water use

PUBLISHED: 17:15 14 August 2017 | UPDATED: 12:18 17 August 2017

Felix Wooltorton, 11, waiting for the water to come out of the giant tap at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Felix Wooltorton, 11, waiting for the water to come out of the giant tap at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2017

It covers 70pc of the Earth, supports all forms of life and our bodies are mostly made up of it.

Francesca Sablowski, nine, spins the wheel to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum, with Richard Park from the community education team. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Francesca Sablowski, nine, spins the wheel to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum, with Richard Park from the community education team. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

And now a week-long festival at The Forum in Norwich called H2OMG is throwing a spotlight on water, its importance and how we can manage it best in the future.

A 4.5m-high tap looms over the building’s main entrance beckoning visitors into the Anglian Water event.

Inside there are games including one called ‘Beat the Bog’ where you can throw small beanbags into toilets, knocking down the seats to reveal fascinating facts about water use.

Nik Shelton, an Anglian Water spokesman, said the festival was a means of consulting the public.

Francesca Sablowski, nine, and Dylan Robson, three, spin the wheel to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum, with Richard Park from the community education team. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Francesca Sablowski, nine, and Dylan Robson, three, spin the wheel to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum, with Richard Park from the community education team. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

He said: “Our budget for providing water and sewerage is huge, so this is a case of asking where people want us to prioritise.

“Is it fixing leaks? It is tackling pollution? Or are people willing to pay a bit more if it means we can do more?

“This is a way of getting people talking about those sorts of questions, and it’s also about opening people’s eyes to water and how we use it.”

Mr Shelton said many people did not even realise that Norwich’s water came out of the River Wensum, before it was cleaned up for use at the Heigham Water Treatment Works.

Sisters Lisa, 10, and Lydia Petereit, 12, throw bean bags into toilets to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Sisters Lisa, 10, and Lydia Petereit, 12, throw bean bags into toilets to reveal information about our water at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Other games at the festival include a spinning wheel, where visitors can learn about different ways of preserving our water supply for future generations, and an interactive quiz about water restrictions, where entrants have the chance to win a weekend ‘glamping’ at a Norfolk beauty spot.

Mr Shelton said Norfolk was the driest county in the driest part of the country, and water would only become more important in the future as the region’s population increased and we faced ever more extreme weather events due to climate change.

Among visitors to the festival was seven-year-old Daisy Bailey, who said she was having an “amazing” time.

Daisy said: “I’ve learned that it’s good to not waste water and it helps people stay alive.”

Felix Wooltorton, 11, waiting for the water to come out of the giant tap at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY Felix Wooltorton, 11, waiting for the water to come out of the giant tap at the H20MG water festival by Anglian Water at the Forum. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Daisy’s nan, Christine Potter, of Eaton, said: “It’s good that they have made it accessible to children as well as adults. It’s not just adults that need to grasp the problems of water shortages.”

Anglia Water’s H2OMG is on every day until August 19 from 10am to 5pm

Facts about water use in our region

The H2OMG festival at the Forum in Norwich aims to open people’s eyes to water usage in the region.

Here are some fascinating facts from the Anglia Water displays at the week-long event:

-A full bath will use up to 80 litres of water, accounting for more than half a person’s daily usage.

-An eight-minute shower uses around 62 litres of hot water, and some powers can use up to 130 litres of water in under 10 minutes.

-Sewerage is used to generate energy.

Anglia Water estimates one visit to the toilet produces enough power to light a room for 15 minutes.

-Most Anglia Water customers use about 133 litres of water - just more than 13 buckets’ worth - each day.

-About 800 tonnes of wipes need to pulled from sewers each week.

-After is it used by Norwich residents, water is treated at a plant in Whitlingham before it is pumped into the River Yare.

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