This is the second report from the excellent GREEN EVENTS GERMANY conference in Bonn (3rd and 4th November) and there were some excellent panels at the conference which was hosted by the RhineKultur Festival, the European festivals organisation YOUROPE and Buckinghamshire New University. Lots of European festivals attended including the Wacken Festival, Melt! and Das Fest (all in Germany) Open Air St Gallen in Switzerland, Roskilde in Denmark , Ilosaarirock in Finland, Welcome to the Future and Pinkpop in the Netherlands and the Glastonbury Festival in the UK. There were also representatives from a number of organisations present including Julies Bicycle from the UK, Germany’s Green Music Initiative and the German federal agency for nature (Bundesamt fur Naturschutz) . I am blogging about two presentations from the ‘production’ seminar, firstly on sustainable power for mobile generators (see the earlier Blog)  and now  on water conservation.

Water! We all know that bottled water is incredibly wasteful – in the resources needed for packaging as well transport to a site – and waste remains after the water in drunk – and many greenfield festivals have to import water in tankers for drinking, washing, showers, toilets and for caterers. This was a really interesting talk from Jans Schonhoff from EventLogistiker ( which gave some simple and key advice on reducing water use on site through simple and effective measures. These included

*  limiting the time duration of water flow in any showers

* Minimising the use of water in WCs

* Using old style waterless urinals

* re-using grey water from showers and other washing to flow through urinals or use to flush toilets (complicated by shampoos and soaps)

* using ‘nipples’ rather than taps for hand washing

* Reducing the use of detergents and chemicals on-site so water can be recycled or resued. Grey water that is full of shampoo cannot really be used to flush and also cannot be dealt with by organic composting methods

* Try and use eco-friendly detergents for washing kitchen utensils and avoid contamination with fats and oils.

*  Avoid other contaminants in waste water

*  A central system for heating water is often very efficient

Jans explained that in Germany there were particular problems as regulations meant that any water that humans used had to be ‘drinking’ quality water for everything on-site – very wasteful. The same seems to apply in the UK.  Jans suggests that a far better systems is to have two ‘pipes’ for water – one for clean drinking water and one for grey water that can be re-used on-site.

Jans also pointed out that transporting water and waste means that there are additional CO2 footprints for your festival!

Useful contacts:

Aqualogistiker (Germany) :

Event Water Solutions (USA):

WaterMills (UK):

Compost toilets: and 

Some friendy bottled waters : and and

The Green Events Germany website can be found at