Sustainable water management is one of the global grand challenges of our time. Tackling this challenge through corrective actions would require the participation of the general public, a public with sound awareness of the challenge and commitment. One such awareness raising intervention could be through the use of water symbolism and proverbs, targeted to particular society. Water has the different symbolism and levels of importance to people, depending of their personal characteristics and socio-demographic factors (e.g. gender, age, occupation, residence). Similarly, water proverbs can also demonstrate attitudes towards water among communities, ethnic groups and whole nations. Such meanings and symbolism could help determine attitude and be a powerful tool towards education. In this context, we describe and propose a psychological Health Belief Model (HBM) as a way to explain behaviour and stimulate sustainable water management practice.
Cite this paper
J. Sindik and Y. Araya, "Raising Awareness about Water Issues: The Role of Water Symbolism and Proverbs," Journal of Water Resource and Protection
, Vol. 5 No. 4, 2013, pp. 34-39. doi: 10.4236/jwarp.2013.54A006
 UNESCO, “World Water Development Report: Managing Water Uncertainty and Risk,” 2012.
 Y. N. Araya and V. Kabakian, “Young Peoples Involvement in Global Water Issues,” Futures, Vol. 36, No. 5, 2004, pp. 603-609.
 Environment Directorate “Environmental Awareness Strategy 2010-2015,” Cork County Council, 2010.
 Y. N. Araya and E. H. Moyer, “Global Public Water Education: The World Water Monitoring Day Experience,” Journal of Applied Environmental Education and Communication, Vol. 5, No. 4, 2006, pp. 263-267.
 IHP, “Water Education for Sustainable Development,” UNESCO, International Hydrological Programme (IHP) —Division of Water Sciences, Paris, 2012.
 P. H. Raven, L. R. Berg and G. B. Johnson, “Environment,” Saunders College Publishing, Orlando, 1993.
 M. Stead, R. Gordon, I. Holme, C. Moodie, G. Hastings and K. Angus, “Changing Attitudes, Knowledge and Behaviour: A Review of Successful Initiatives,” Joseph Rowntree Foundation, University of Stirling, Stirling, 2009.
 C. A. Redding, J. S. Rossi, S. R. Rossi, W. F. Velicer and J. O. Prochaska, “Health Behavior Models,” The International Electronic Journal of Health Education, Vol. 3, 2000, pp. 180-193.
 J. Sindik, “How Do Different People Perceive Symbolic Values of the Water—An Interdisciplinary Approach,” Water: Unite and Divide Interdisciplinary Approaches for a Sustainable Future, European Science Foundation, Stresa, 27-30 August 2012.
 W. Mieder, “Popular Views of the Proverb,” De Proverbio, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1999, pp. 109-144.
 R. W. Gibbs Jr. “Proverbial Themes We Live by,” Poetics, Vol. 29, No. 3, 2001, pp. 167-188.
 Anon, “Inspirational Proverbs, Quotes, Sayings,” 2013.
 UNESCO, “World Water Day 2006: Water Proverbs,” 2013.
 J. Charteris-Black, “‘Still Waters Run Deep’ Proverbs about Speech and Silence: A Cross-Linguistic Perspective,” De Proverbio, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1995, p. 352.
 M. Conner and P. Norman, “Predicting Health Behavior. Search and Practice with Social Cognition Models,” Open University Press, Buckingham, 1996.
 K. Glanz, B. K. Rimer and S. M. Su, “Theory at a Glance: A Guide for Health Promotion Practice,” National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, 1997.