WATERFestival Greening Techniques



Here’s what you can do, rated on effort involved:

  • Promote the use of reusable water bottles and mugs
  • Have a water truck that will provide free drinking water
  • Change air conditioner and heater filters regularly (every 3 to 6 months)
  • Have all water leaks fixed immediately
  • If you need to water plants or grounds, water early in the day or late in the evening to minimize evaporation and water use
  • Avoid bottled water. In some cities, local water trucks are available and will come to your event to promote local tap water
  • Have a water audit conducted to know how much water you are using and get a baseline
  • Collect data and set up a system to record water on a quarterly basis, and review it annually to identify opportunities to reduce impact
  • Install faucet and showerhead aerators and low-flush toilets where appropriate
  • Use automatic taps to reduce water consumption by up to 70%
  • Divert grey water and use it to water grounds or plants if applicable
  • Go waterless at your porta potties and use sanitization gel instead
  • Ban the sale of plastic water bottles at the festival
  • Use solar thermal systems to heat water
  • Collect rainwater and/or gray water for non-potable applications
  • Incorporate stormwater management facilities into routine preventative and corrective maintenance programs
  • Recycle wastewater on site (i.e. through man-made wetlands)
  • Ban toxic chemicals on site

Water Facts

The Falls Music and Arts Festival in Australia save an estimated 91,200 litres of fresh drinking water at each event by using composting toilets that are water free, flush free, chemical free. Composting toilets save an average of 180 kilo litres of water each year.

Mariposa Folk Festival eliminates more than 12,000 plastic water bottles from the recycling stream by being water bottle free and providing a hydration station so festival goers can have access to free water.

Best Practise Case Studies

Greywater Use

Lighting in a Bottle, United States

Greywater is used to control air pollution by spraying it on the grounds dust.

Biological Treatment

Boom Festival, Portugal

All the water from restaurants, bars, showers and other facilities is recycled on site by a radically innovative biological treatment system. Boom’s water treatment system is based on bio-remediation and evapo-transpiration. All grey water passes through a living filter before it is allowed to infiltrate back in the soil. The grey water passes through a series of garden beds where it is allowed to evaporate while the roots of aquatic plants undertake the first cleaning of the water removing minerals and storing them in their leaves. The result is crystal clear water ready for re-use in irrigation. No further treatment is required and all environmental regulations are met. In fact the water is tested.

Water Jugs and Reusable Bottles

Pop Montreal, Canada

The festival’s water initiative involves placing water jugs in all participating venues. Rather than be handed plastic bottles, all volunteers and artists involved with the festival will be provided a keepsake stainless steel bottle for use throughout POP and life.

Souvenir Water Bottles

Mariposa Folk Festival, Orillia, Canada

Mariposa Folk Festival encourages all festival-goers to bring a reusable water bottle to the festival to take advantage of the free water station that is available. The festival also sells reusable bottles that feature a new design each year, including the Mariposa logo, to make it both a fun souvenir and an environmentally sustainable purchase.

Free Water Tanker

Hillside Festival, Canada

A water tanker is on site filled with City of Guelph tap water. The water is tested throughout the weekend to ensure its safety.  Festival-goers can have their containers filled free of charge by volunteers.

Bring A Bottle Campaign

Shambala Festival, UK

The “Bring a Bottle” campaign started in 2013 selling no bottled water on site. There is a site-wide ban on the sale of bottled water (and other drinks) at the festival, and all festival-goers, crew and artists are asked to bring a re-usable water bottle. The festival also provides some stainless steel re-usable bottles for sale for those who forget, with all profits going to the charity FRANK Water development projects.

Automatic Water Taps

Cambridge Folk Festival, UK

This festival’s water initiatives include water taps available to refill water bottles, taps used by campers that automatically switch off to conserve water, and backstage water coolers instead of plastic bottles.