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This dystopian grocery store imagines a world where water is a luxury


By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

March 29, 2023 | 4 min read

As the climate crisis continues to worsen, more than half the global population is expected to struggle to access as much water as they need by 2050.

The Drop Store

The water crisis will affect everyone; The Drop Store teases what we can expect / The Drop Store

Come on into The Drop Store, the water’s $198. To mark the UN Water Conference 2023, the Netherlands’ Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned Publicis Groupe Benelux to raise awareness of the global water crisis.

According to Unicef, four billion people — almost two-thirds of the world’s population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. And over two billion people live in countries where the water supply is inadequate. With projections anticipating that this issue will only become more pressing, The Drop Store imagines what a supermarket in a water-scarce world would look like.

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Fancy a pizza? Sadly, due to last year’s crops of grain and tomatoes being destroyed by global heating, you can now only get it in pill form. Some cheese to go with it? You can have a cube, but it’ll cost you $109. And if you were hoping for some water to wash it all down with, too bad. A tablespoon of the clean stuff will set you back $198, or you can stick with the regular stuff – it’s brown though.

The Drop Store
The Drop Store

“Water – whether too much, too little, or too dirty – connects the great challenges of our time,” the bespoke e-commerce site reads. “No less than 90% of all climate disasters manifest themselves through water: via flooding, drought or pollution.

“All over the world, people are starting to feel the emerging water crisis and if we don’t act now, it’ll only get worse. While some of you might not notice these issues in your day-to-day life, it might only be a matter of time.

It points to the fact that we do have the scientific knowledge and technology to get our water system back on track in a sustainable way but highlights that we need awareness to do so. It points to several partners working to change how we use, manage and value water to ensure the future of the supply for everyone.


Agency: Publicis Groupe Benelux

Client: Department Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Digital agency: Neverland

Consultancy: HUMИN

Design company: Plant

Audio: Massive Music

Product design: Street Media Factory

Web development: Owow

Want to learn more about the most important issue of our time? Senior reporter Ellen Ormesher will explore the role of advertising and marketing in the climate crisis. Case studies, tips, interviews and more. Register your interest here.

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