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Water festival proposes to ‘drench the city in fun’

An all-year round festival designed to celebrate Christchurch’s most precious resource is being proposed.

Two Christchurch woman want to create the Christchurch Water Festival, a “52-week wonder” that would “drench the city in fun” while educating people of the importance of the city’s water.

Landscape architect Di Lucas and Christchurch West Melton Water Management Zone Committee community member Islay McLeod want the entire city to be part of the water festival, which they envisage kicking off at dawn on World Water Day in March.

The festival would be an annual diary of water-centred activities, maps and water-focused messages, updated every year.

McLeod said building owners could be urged to capture the rain water off their buildings and recycle it into water features, but not just ordinary water features, people-powered water features.

There could be bike-powered water features, kids could seesaw up a water spout and a sports retailer could have a cross-trainer or yacht winch-driven water fountain, she said.

“The whole city will be part of it and contribute to it…anything and everything involving water. Imagine the CSO performing outdoors with a waterworks finale instead of fireworks,” McLeod told Christchurch City Council’s Communities, Housing and Economic Development Committee on Thursday.

The festival would also educate residents to appreciate the quality and quantity of Christchurch water.

McLeod said the number one wish from people who contributed to the council’s Share an Idea scheme was to have swimmable rivers in Christchurch. She believed this was never going to happen unless people could be persuaded to “think before they put it down the sink, think again before they put it down the drain and don’t be in a rush to flush”.

But she said there was no money for an education programme, so the festival could help with this.

“It’s education by celebration.”

The festival would also bring Christchurch residents back into the central city, just for the sheer fun of it.

The committee referred the idea to the council’s events and festivals working group, which would discuss the concept further, including funding and partnership options.

Source: stuff.co.nz