2009 Interns Print
Nicholas Linville
DePauw University, Indiana
January 2009 - May 2009

During my time at Waterwise, I was able to contribute to numerous projects, most of which directly related to policy development and research. In addition to helping wherever possible, working at Waterwise allowed me to further my relatively limited knowledge of the water industry and the prevailing problem of wasting water. From the first day of my internship, the wonderful staff of Waterwise trusted me with important and significant projects.

While at Waterwise I was able to work on a multitude of policy related projects that varied in size, scope and significance. On a semi-regular basis, I would generate a briefing produced under the title, ‘The Linville List’. This briefing would summarize water and energy relevant information from the House of Commons and the House of Lords, as well as varying governmental agencies, such as CLG, DEFRA DECC, and occasional European agencies. With the approaching elections within the United Kingdom, I was also asked to create the first several drafts of a manifesto for Waterwise, the first ever of its kind. This was an excellent way to solidify the aims of Waterwise for the different political parties, and allowed me to work with all of the members of the staff, in order to consolidate information into specific goals. However, my first and favourite project that I worked on for Waterwise was a consultation response to a government document concerning the Definition of Zero-Carbon Homes and Non-Domestic Buildings. During this time I began to understand the true and essential importance of water efficiency and conservation, especially its importance in regulation and policy framework.

I was also quite unaware of the glamorous life that accompanies working for a small NGO; while I was here I was able to attend an award ceremony, government receptions, and of course the 2009 Waterwise Conference. In addition to the lavish events, I was able to attend parliamentary meetings and important work meetings. However the greatest reward of working at Waterwise has been the staff. Every member of the Waterwise family is kind and genuinely dedicated to what they do. Although Waterwise has around eleven members, they are able to accomplish the work of much larger NGO’s, because of the dedication and passion.

Linda Waireri, University of Kent
June 2009 – Aug 2009

Working with Waterwise has been simply fantastic! The staff are wonderful! When they are not too heavily engrossed in their work, they can be seen exchanging smiles across desks and having a laugh. There is a genuine team spirit atmosphere which makes it easy to fit in.

I joined Waterwise with little knowledge of the UK’s stance and profile on water related issues. However, my supervisors, Nicci, Gaetane and Ike, were very patient, providing me with support and guidance where needed.

My tasks were varied. I was responsible for keeping abreast on European developments related to environment, climate change and energy as well as producing daily briefs on Westminster developments on the same; including sustainable homes and buildings, water efficiency and treasury related issues. I also had the pleasure of attending the Ministers session at Portcullis House to listen to a review on the UK WIR (Water Industry Research) Baseline Water Efficiency offer. My main task was to produce a summary position paper of various water companies in the UK entailing their water resource management plans for the period until 2034/35. This provided me with an overview of interaction between NGOs, Government and Industries (in this case the water companies). The importance of NGO’s and other entities in public policy is to be immensely appreciated. Often these agencies would call for further action to be taken on a range of policies proposed by a water company. For example, Wessex Water’s policy on their supply-demand balance was held to be unambitious during the consultation process. Concerned agencies were keen to endorse an average per capita demand that met Government aspirations of 130 litres per capita consumption (pcc). The result was that Wessex Water included in their strategy 130 litres pcc to be achieved by proposals on selective metering and water efficiency. This task provided me with an in-depth understanding on the role of NGO’s in facilitating positive action.

I have also picked up some water efficient habits! : ) For example, I no longer leave the tap on when brushing my teeth! And I am now cautious about how much time I spend in the shower! I have improved my lifestyle and learnt a lot about water efficiency!

I would fully recommend that you intern at Waterwise.