Water Authority's public relations campaign has changed public's behavior, survey finds

The lower the respondents' level of education, the more likely they were to have been influenced by the ads.

Kinneret  crisis 248.88 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kinneret crisis 248.88
(photo credit: Courtesy)
"Israel is drying out," the commercials warn as the actress's face and house crack apart like dry dusty ground. Powerful and straightforward, the Water Authority's television and billboard campaign has succeeded in changing people's behavior, a new survey has found. According to a survey carried out by the Geocartography Knowledge Group in the first week of February, 88 percent of the country has seen at least one of the ads. Furthermore, 67% of respondents said they had changed their behavior to increase water conservation after seeing the ads. Just 15% said the ads had had no effect on them. The survey didn't require respondents to specify how their behavior had changed. The survey also found that the lower the respondents' level of education, the more likely they were to have been influenced by the ads. More older men were also found to have altered their behavior. Only 42.6% of olim said the ads influenced them to start conserving water, as opposed to 57.3% of second generation Israelis. The survey was commissioned by the Kinneret College on the Sea of Galilee ahead of a one-day water conference on Tuesday entitled "Water Economy Policy in Israel." In addition to Water Authority head Prof. Uri Shani, former adviser to the prime minister and defense minister on water issues Noah Kinarty will be delivering remarks, as will James Larsen, the Australian ambassador to Israel, who will be comparing the crisis situations in both countries. Australia has also been hard hit by drought in recent years. Despite the influence of the ads, the public in general ranked dealing with the water crisis rather low (17.7%) on the list of priorities for the new government, far below fixing the education system (37.9%) and on a par with reducing traffic accidents (16.2%). The survey didn't include security or the economy in the question. However, those who had not seen any ads ranked solving the water crisis at just 9%, so they clearly had an impact. Nevertheless, the crisis is serious. The Water Authority is currently formulating another emergency plan because rainfall this winter has been even lower than its worst predictions. The survey was conducted among a group of 500 respondents, aged 18 and up. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.4%.