Upgrading the water systems in New Jersey’s cities and towns is a generational challenge that must serve the residents and businesses who pay the bills, and the elected officials responsible for addressing a host of community issues.
Effective community engagement processes feature active the participation of community partners and ratepayers, who are able to influence the planning and management of their water infrastructure. Community support is also reflected in municipal plans, ordinances.
How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study
Americans are increasingly asked to make important decisions about managing our collective water resources. To do so, Water Main believes that people need both Water IQ, an understanding of key issues, and Water EQ, a personal connection to water.
How do Americans relate to water? To shed light on that question, The Water Main conducted this national study, How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study, that asked Americans just that.
For this study, How Americans Relate to Water: A Qualitative Study, a total of 201 surveys were completed with respondents from 11 selected regions of the United States, for an overall response rate of 5.5%. This exploratory study begins to break ground on a topic that is not yet well understood.
White paper: https://www.thewatermain.org/s/APM_WaterMainReport_PUBLISH.pdf
Executive Summary: https://www.thewatermain.org/s/Water-handout-vFINAL.pdf
Jersey Water Works Social Media Toolkit on Water Infrastructure
The Jersey Water Works Community Engagement Committee has compiled memes, posts and tweets that can be used to help you raise awareness about combined-sewer overflow pollution, flooding, runoff and the need for water infrastructure investment. Our goal is to engage stakeholders and the public in water infrastructure issues.
Use these posts, tweets and memes strategically on days like; “Imagine a Day without Water” to educate the public on water infrastructure issues. We recommend that you always include images and appropriate hashtags with all of your social media posts to increase engagement.
For posting times, organizations should follow what works best as a result of your own internal analytics, but in general: Facebook: weekdays, especially Thursdays and Fridays in the midday hours between 12pm and 3pm. Twitter: weekdays around lunch and after work hours, multiple times a day. Instagram: weekdays after work hours. Many social media management platforms, such as Tweetdeck and Buffer, will allow you to schedule these in advance.
Help people connect the dots during heavy rainstorms with posts that highlight the connection between our aging water infrastructure and flooding, and keep the discussion going on the need to invest in our water infrastructure.
We’ve also included a list of annual events, both national and international, around which we can organize our efforts.
Suggested Facebook posts (Always include images and appropriate hashtags with all of your social media posts to increase engagement):
Monthly water related events calendar:
Educational Resources for the Classroom Inside and Outside of School
The Jersey Water Works Community Engagement Committee worked with a New Jersey Future intern to compile educational resources on water infrastructure that can be used inside and outside of school. We separated the content by what we thought would be most useful for inside and outside of the classroom. Videos, for example, are in the section for outside of the classroom but could be used to supplement a classroom lesson as well. In addition, there are sets of activities for students across grades, which have been further subdivided into categories: Non-Point Source Solutions; Stormwater; Water Cycle; Water Supply and Wastewater; Watershed; Water Quality; and Miscellaneous.
Resources for outside the classroom, by subject:
Resources for inside the classroom:
Check out the classroom resources compiled by DC Water here.
Opportunities for Municipal Clean Water Utilities to Advance Environmental Justice & Community Service
The National Association of Clean Water Agencies prepared this report to increase awareness of the many benefits America’s clean water utilities provide to their communities. The projects in this compendium represent efforts by NACWA members to reach beyond the traditional model of simply conveying and treating wastewater and stormwater, to become assets and partners in their communities. Some of the projects included in this compendium represent work to address specific environmental justice issues, while others are examples of efforts by clean water utilities to better serve their communities as a whole.
Opportunities for Municipal Clean Water Utilities to Advance Environmental Justice & Community Service (National Association of Clean Water Agencies)