09 December 2014

Kickstarter update and additional details

After an initial surge to $900 towards the target of $2,000, pledges towards my calendar project (seen on the right sidebar) have slowed down.

I am getting lots of "let us market your kickstarter to your facebook friends" spam, which seems to indicate a common problem on Kickstarter projects -- finding people who will back the project once they hear about it.

So, can you recommend any "communities" that I can contact (email me)? Can you contact any on your own? This blog post will help explain the calendar's purpose.

Let me emphasize -- once again -- that the project will NOT go forward if there is insufficient interest (pledges). That would pretty much blow my mind -- given the need for water education and the $millions spent on it now -- when the remaining funding gap represents merely 55 calendars.

Is it possible, in a world of 7 billion people, that not even 55 want to spend more time learning about water? If so, then it surely explains the reason why we have so much confusion on water issues: people trust "professionals" to manage systems about which they know very little.

How are people going to know if their representatives are doing a good job if they don't even know how water is embedded in their lives?

Although I realize that most people have no time to be "water experts," I am sure that more water knowledge (like, say, coffee knowledge) will result in better water outcomes. That's what my calendar is aimed at.

Here, for example. are the themes -- and questions -- for a few months:

January: You do not have a tap in your house, but you can walk 5 min to get clean water. How much would you pay to get 10 liters (2.5 gallons) delivered to your home each day? How much for 10 more liters? How much for another 50 liters? Lesson: Value of water.

March: Get a copy of your water bill (ask your landlord if you do not pay for water). Find the quantity of water you've used in the last period and how much it cost. Put those numbers into the form online to find out (and compare) your water consumption and payments to others. Lesson: Water price and consumption

November: Where does the water come from near your house? Find your "watershed" on a map. Now find the largest river in the watershed. How much water does it hold? Where does the water come from and go to? How much is diverted before it reaches its end? Lesson: Environmental services

So, if you think people should know the answers to these questions (do you?), then please help me get this project funded! :)

Addendum: In response to this email ("How daft is it, to market a calendar for "environmental awareness" to people when "experts" are failing in their jobs? Seems that people *talk about* water education all the time, but (1) they are spending other people's money and (2) consumers are just not interested..."), Tyler Cowen replied: "It is a tough issue to motivate people, problems are fairly abstract and long-term until they truly hit home, which maybe has happened only in Yemen so far..."


  1. It's a great idea and I wish you the best with it. For what it's worth, I haven't pledged any money because:

    a) It's hard for me to envisage what it will look like (physically). How will the stapled matte pages look when they're hanging on my wall? (i.e., the same reason I've never bought an item from eBay where there's no accompanying photo of said item);

    b) I mainly use a 'digital' calendar now; and

    c) Probably also because I'm just too cheap to spend the money!

  2. @Anon --

    (1) Here's a mockup of one month: http://watersmartscalendar.com/sample.pdf

    (2) I do too. This is about learning, not knowing if it's Monday :)

    (3) You decide on the value of learning and knowledge :)


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