Drinking Water Week Provides Prime Opportunity for Public Outreach

American Water Works Association offers ideas on how utilities can mark the occasion
Drinking Water Week Provides Prime Opportunity for Public Outreach

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Five-hundred water utilities and other agencies are included in the American Water Works Association’s list of participants celebrating Drinking Water Week this week. Maybe your utility is one of them.

Celebrating Drinking Water Week is an easy way to educate the public, connect with the community, and promote employee morale. Too often, water utilities receive publicity only when something bad happens — a water main breaks in the middle of rush hour or you have to raise your rates, again. Drinking Water Week celebrations give you an opportunity for some positive communication. It is a perfect time to educate children about their water supply in a fun atmosphere, and it can help reaffirm to your employees the importance of what they do — provide clean, safe drinking water for the public.

If your utility isn’t planning any activities this week, here are some ideas courtesy of the AWWA on how you can still get in on the celebration. Or use them next year when making plans for Drinking Water Week, which will run May 6-12, 2018:

Public Communication

Whether you send out press releases, take out ads in your local newspaper, or use any of the other ideas provided below, communicating to the public during Drinking Water Week is integral to any successful celebration.

  • Advertise in your local newspaper.
  • Send bill stuffers.
  • Work with your local librarian to set up a library display.
  • Use mall kiosks to reach a broad audience.
  • Coordinate distribution of AWWA news releases.
  • Publicize the release of your Consumer Confidence Report.
  • Send public service announcements to your local radio or television stations.

Community Events

It’s important for you to be a part of your local community. Community events are fun and festive ways to make sure that your customers know about their drinking water — where it comes from, how they get it, and what they can do to help ensure their drinking water quality.

  • Invite your community to an Open House.
  • Inaugurate an Adopt-a-Hydrant Program.
  • Plant a tree.
  • Host plant tours.
  • Hold a landmark dedication/anniversary celebration.
  • Bury a time capsule.
  • Partner with your local botanic gardens or other groups.
  • Plan a community clean-up.

Youth Focus

  • Feature a children's coloring contest or essay contest.
  • Hold a poster contest.
  • Do school presentations.

Internal Communications and Events

  • Hold your annual employee picnic during Drinking Water Week.
  • Create a utility newsletter feature on Drinking Water Week.

For AWWA materials and other resources to use during Drinking Water Week, click here.


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