The Water Youth Network at 112 Dag in Delft, Netherlands

Author: Tarasinta Perwitasari

On 4th October 2014, Deltares represented the Dutch water sector together with the Water Youth Network and the World Youth Parliament for Water during the public event “112 Dag” in Delft, the Netherlands.

The 112 Dag was organized by the Delft police, firefighters and ambulance service in their capacity as the national emergency team. Deltares presented its serious game ‘Dijk patrouille’ and its experimental Delta Basin setup. The World Youth Parliament for Water and the Water Youth Network delivered the Water Messengers campaign to gauge citizens’ opinions about Water. There was a lot of enthusiasm for this event, with hundreds of students, parents and children in attendance from the morning until the evening.

The Water Messengers campaign
The Water Messengers campaign, promoted by the World Youth Parliament for Water, gives the opportunity to each of us to voice his/her message and ensure that decision makers are aware of the importance of water for citizens of the world. From April 22 in 2014 until the 7th World Water Forum – which will be held in South Korea in April 2015 – each and every citizen of the world will be able to make a contribution to the campaign by sharing his/her thoughts and concerns about water. For more information please visit the following website:

Sharing experiences and lessons learned

Roeli (Deltares):
“During the 112-Emergency-day in Delft, on October 2nd 2014, more than 25.000 people paid a visit. On this day organizations such as the police and fire brigade gave demonstrations to make the audience aware of dangerous situations. The Water Parliament of Youth was there to raise awareness for the importance of water. People in Delft were given the change to address what water means for them. This turned out successful.”

Susanne (World Youth Parliament for Water):
“During the 112 Day I gained experience in communication as we, as part of the organizing team, had to engage attendees to participate in the Water Messengers campaign. In my opinion it was very useful to present the campaign to the visitors and learn from their thoughts and experiences. It is very important to create awareness amongst people about water since many of them seem to be unaware of its importance to the future.”

Caroline (Water Youth Network):
“Having energetic and pro-active people on the organizing team helped to attract water messengers even if the event was not water oriented. Having Dutch speakers involved was very helpful as it put community participants more at ease when giving their responses. The collaboration between Deltares and both youth organizations (The World Youth Parliament for Water and the Water Youth Network) was very successful.”

Merel (Water Youth Network):
“I think it was very nice to talk to people about their perceptions of water. It was a bit challenging but the people we spoke to were interested in the Water Messenger campaign. It was a great experience talking to people about this important topic.”

Tara (Water Youth Network):
“A lot of people were enthusiastic, curious, and thought the Water Messengers campaign was a great idea. The aim of the campaign was to ask community members their opinion on the role of water in their life. It was sometimes a bit difficult to gain people’s attention due to other attractions. However, we still managed to get people to spontaneously speak their minds: from simple basic things like ‘water as their cup of coffee’ to complex problems such as water pollution. Increasing people’s awareness about water encouraged me to get more motivated about my profession.”

Protogene (Water Youth Network):
“It was a good experience to talk to citizens who are not water experts. By asking them the question, ‘What does water mean to you?’ I realized that many of them were not aware of or had thought about the future World Water Crisis. As water experts, I think we have a valid role to play in helping the community to better understand water and how to use it more sustainably in their lives.”