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Surface Tension: The future of water

21st October 2011 to 20th January 2012.

Geography research exhibited in the Science Gallery’s new exhibition

Trinity-based geography research which is part of the CONSENSUS: Consumption, Environment and Sustainability project, funded by the Environmental Protection Agency is being showcased as part of the Science Gallery’s exhibition ‘Surface Tension: The future of water’. Research undertaken by Ruth Doyle (Doctoral Candidate - and Professor Anna Davies (Principal Investigator – led to the formation of three alternative scenarios for how we might make our washing practices more sustainable in the future.

Personal washing routines are currently the most water intensive activity in Irish households. Sustainable use of water is not yet a priority for most householders. Instead comfort, cleanliness and convenience are clear drivers of washing behaviour. However washing practices are not static. Within three generations piped water, central heating and power showers transformed a weekly (often shared) ritual into a daily habit that is highly consumptive of water and energy.

The Waterwise installation asks people to consider how washing habits might change in a future, water constrained world. It is an engaging, participatory installation designed to encourage gallery visitors to think about their personal washing habits more critically. How might these habits change to adapt to scarce water conditions, technological advances, cultural shifts or stricter regulation? Through the use of illustrated scenarios visitors of all ages will be encouraged to liberate their minds and consider future possibilities for

For further information contact: Ruth Doyle ( or Professor Anna Davies ( or visit the Science Gallery website: