Communicating Water's Value Part 2: Stormwater, Wastewater & Watersheds
Today we can predict storms, reuse wastewater, and desalinate inland waters. And while technology makes it easier to quickly communicate, it can also strip away our humanity. Rather than succumb to the pull of anonymity created by that same technology, this book was written to help blur the lines between the experts and the public they affect.
It means the experts never forgetting there are real people trusting them that the water is indeed “safe” to swim in or the wastewater can be treated to a level safe enough to drink. It means the public recognizing that operators must fix a main break no matter when it occurs. It means bringing the public into the mix upstream, at the discovery point of the problem rather than waiting to hand them only the preferred solution.
No longer is lifting the experts’ curtain only when they’re ready to theatrically reveal solutions acceptable. Gone are the days when the public trusts all of the negotiations, problem solving, and hidden props appearing after the production of the water experts is complete.
For the one thing you can predict about us humans is that hidden beneath the façade of logic, is our deep-seated emotional side. For only with a solid understanding of the consumer’s hidden world of perceptions and irrationality, can we truly communicate the value of water.
This book reveals the power of engaging the public when communicating the value of water when it involves wastewater, stormwater and watersheds. Through stories of success and why communications can fail, this book is written for wastewater utilities, watershed stewards and stormwater managers, engineers, operators, stakeholders, elected officials, and anyone that truly wants to make a difference in the public’s perception when it comes to the value of water.