The beautiful brains behind Splash Mansion are set to revolutionize the way Theme Camps manage their water on the Paddock... Trash Mansionite Professor Johnny Breakwell is not just a pretty face. That brilliant mind of his has been working overtime on ways to:
- make it wetter down there on the Paddock,
- help Theme Camps Leave No Trace AND
- give back to the local community in Matong and surrounds!
Making a Splash
In 2013 he created Splash Mansion: “It got me out from behind the bar at Trash”, says Johnny, “and for the cost of an hour or two each day it meant we got showers, kept cool and had some awesome fun.
“Splash grew bigger in 2014/15 and we ended up doing daily water runs - it made me think about how much water we were going through, not just our camp but others too,” he says.
Then at Seed in 2015 Johnny met Rowan Kos and these two legends got talking about water. Rowan suggested the idea of setting up a collective group of Theme Camps to better manage the supply of water to camps at Seed.
Skip to 2016 and welcome to the fruit of that conversation…. The Watershed.
This by burners, for burners, not for profit collective comprises a willing coalition on a mission to mutually obtain and distribute quality water to Theme Camps at the lowest possible price.
“This is a fantastic social enterprise,” says Johnny. “The Watershed is facilitating the purchase of a bulk amount of water for Theme Camps - something like 20,000 litres - from farmers local to the Burning Seed site at Matong.
“The farmers will donate their time and use their water licenses to sell us the water, and any profits they make after their costs are covered will go to support the local school in Ganmain.
“These little schools make a big difference in the community - any dollars we can raise make a big difference to these kids,” he says.
How it Works
Johnny says The Watershed is owned by Theme Camps that join the collective as members.
“The members are currently Splash, Sunset Island, Trash Mansion, Dirty Birds, Detox, Casbah and The Brink.
“These and potentially other Member Theme Camps will pay in advance for a water cube of 1000 litres - the cube will be delivered to them on site during set-up, and a water tanker will come by and fill it up. The empty cube will be picked up from the camp at the end of the event.
“The Watershed will bring a lot more drinking water into Theme Camps and also make a serious environmental impact on site - for instance by minimising waste packaging from water containers - no more taking empty cartons full of air home - and reducing the number of journeys needed for water runs during the event.
“But there are many other benefits - if Theme Camps know they’ll have water delivered on site they’ll have more cargo space for Theme Arts and it also gives them scope to gift more drinking water and nautical activities.
“Importantly - this is NOT about free water on the Paddock. The Watershed is only working with member Theme Camps, not individual participants. Everyone outside our Member Theme Camps will still be required to bring the necessary amount of water they need to survive for the week. This is just about providing
Making the Infrastructure Pozible
Johnny says that with stronger interest from other Theme Camps, funding is now needed to buy the water container infrastructure.
“Without some initial funding the Watershed may have to limit further memberships and have less impact than we might do in this first year.
The Watershed is running a pozible campaign right now to help cover some of these upfront costs for basic infrastructure.
“Each one of the 1000L water cubes we’ll use for distribution of the water to Theme Camps will cost about $80 to $100 and the Watershed crew will also need radios and cleaning products to sanitize the cubes,” says Johnny.
“We’re offering some sweet water-based perks for anyone who wants to donate from $1 to $10 or more - and every dollar counts to help us get this fantastic project off the ground," says Johnny.