The BC Water and Waste Association welcomes its new Chief Executive Officer, Natalie Zigarlick, who began work in February, 2006.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water has published a guide to watershed management as a tool in developing and implementing watershed plans. The draft “Handbook for Developing Watershed Plans to Restore and Protect Our Waters” is intended for communities, watershed groups, and local, state, tribal, and federal environmental agencies.
With help from West Coast Environmental Law (WCEL), a two-year effort to protect the Sunshine Coast’s Hotel Lake from harmful water withdrawals is successful. The Environmental Appeal Board has limited the amount of water that can be withdrawn from Hotel Lake until studies demonstrate that increased water use will not harm the lake.
The Southwest Florida Water Management District, the agency responsible for managing water resources in a 16-county area in west-central Florida, provides a free program to hotels and motels to help conserve water. The district launched the Water Conservation Hotel and Motel Program (Water CHAMP) in 2002 to help decrease the impact vacationers place on Florida’s most precious resource—water.
An up-to-date customer information system (CIS) is an essential component of an effective water utility business. These systems are responsible for a wide range of key business activities including billing, managing credit and collections, tracking water consumption, and responding to customers' needs.
The primary purpose of the BC Rural Network’s (BCRN) website, is to provide information to organizations that serve a rural constituency, and to members of the public who want to know about BCRN's activities and issues of importance to rural and remote communities.
In the summer 2005 issue of BCWWA’s “Watermark”, I mentioned a test being conducted in an upscale Kelowna neighbourhood. We included bar charts on water bills showing homeowners’ monthly consumption compared to the average monthly consumption on their street. This area was chosen because we’d tried several methods of public education in the past, but the water conservation message hadn’t gotten through.
The great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, once said something to this effect: “Avoid developing your theory before you collect the evidence. If you develop your theory first, you may interpret the evidence to support your flawed assumptions.” I thought about this quote after talking to the person responsible for water conservation in a small town.
I came across a study by an American behavioural researcher who wanted to find out if people act more responsibly in groups or as individuals. The researcher concluded that individuals are more likely to take action when they feel some personal responsibility to help. In large groups, however, the sense of responsibility is “diffused” among the group. In other words, when there is a problem, most people expect that someone else will take care of it.
When I was hired in 1996 to develop Kelowna’s “Water Smart” program, I thought it would be easy to achieve the utility’s targets for reductions in water use. Surely the same marketing principles I used for General Motors and other clients could be applied to a water conservation program. I quickly found out how wrong I was.