WEF launches effort to raise awareness about the value of water
Water should be clear, but not invisible. Indispensable to jobs, the economy, our health and our communities, water runs through our lives in many ways. Everyone uses water and everyone must be responsible for it. To do that, we each need to learn to value water and come together to share an important message about water's worth.
To help with this effort, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) proudly announces the U.S. launch of its new Water's Worth It public messaging campaign and website, www.WatersWorthIt.org. Designed as an on-going effort, this broad-based campaign will help to answer the question about how our actions, attitudes and the things we most value are so closely connected with water.
"It's time that water takes its rightful place in the national conversation," said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. "It's an issue that demands attention, understanding and support. Water's Worth It was created to address that compelling need and to raise the profile of the water professionals who are on the front lines every day protecting public health and the environment."
Intended to inform a wide range of audiences, the campaign will provide the water sector with the communication tools they will need to successfully raise awareness about the value and importance of water; help build alliances at the state, regional and community level; and help coordinate a flexible outreach and education effort that is easily tailored to what's happening in their state, region, community or agency.
The public will be provided with the information they need to be educated and responsible consumers; help create a personal connection with water; show how daily life is inextricably linked to this vital resource; and help increase the understanding of and appreciation for water sector professionals and the essential services that they provide.
The goals of the campaign are to:
- -Demystify water and wastewater treatment by showing the direct connections between what water sector professionals do and what the public values — create jobs, protect health, protect the environment and provide clean water.
- -Expand and deepen the awareness of the value of water.
- -Explain that water is a precious and limited resource that needs to be recycled and reused.
- -Elevate the profile of water sector professionals by building respect and appreciation for the services they provide.
- -Create a foundation of public awareness to support needed infrastructure investments.
- -Support cutting-edge practices to deliver, recover, and reuse water resources.
Everyone, from water professionals to the general public, is encouraged to visit the campaign website, take the Water's Worth It pledge, and join this coordinated effort to raise awareness about the value and importance of water. In particular, WEF hopes the campaign will help utilities better explain the challenges they face each day to safeguard our water resources and ensure that the infrastructure we rely on remains functional and healthy for current and future generations.
"Out of sight and out of mind isn't good enough anymore," said DC Water General Manager George S. Hawkins. "We have millions of miles of hidden infrastructure and a service that's been underpriced and mostly reliable for decades. No community can survive without clean water, and our systems need upgrading, so it's past time to raise awareness of what we do and why we do it. This campaign serves to do just that."
Make A Splash in Your Community
At www.WatersWorthIt.org, water professionals will find a comprehensive toolkit with a range of customizable materials — ads, fact sheets, brochures, bill stuffers, media outreach resources and promotional items — that will help lay the foundation for water appreciation and set the stage for a call to action or behavior change. Going forward, WEF will develop materials with more specific messages on topics such as infrastructure investment, storm water, biosolids management, and other important issues facing our communities.
"WEF has put our heart and soul into developing this campaign but to be successful, we need a unified effort from everyone to help carry this message forward," said Eger. "It's the right thing to do on behalf of water, the thousands of professionals who have dedicated their careers to providing these essential services, and the public who depends on it. By combining our voices behind Water's Worth It, each of us can contribute to a positive change."
In addition to the launch of the Water's Worth It campaign, WEF will celebrate World Water Day 2012 with several activities including a goodwill visit to the Alexandria Sanitation Authority (ASA), where Eger and WEF staff members will recognize the important work of ASA and its staff; and announcing the winners of the third annual World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC) Water Champion Awards.
To learn more about how you can be a voice for water, visit www.WatersWorthIt.org.
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