Webcast will highlight desalination comms toolkit

A webcast next week will highlight a new WateReuse Research Foundation (WRF) project aimed to provide a versatile toolkit that water agencies can use as 'a roadmap' to fashion their own public outreach efforts - and craft outreach materials that address specific conditions they face in their own jurisdictions.

It will be held on 8 May at 2pm-3.15pm Eastern Standard Time (USA).

The communication toolkit includes a variety of documents and materials that will assist in shaping unique and effective public outreach programmes, the WRF stated this week.

Materials that are included draw from the experience of water purveyors that have proposed desalination projects in California, Texas, Florida, Australia, and Spain and provide useful real-life experience about what has worked and what has not. Both “hands-on” and “virtual” materials are provided. A guide to developing a strategic outreach and awareness plan summarizes the necessary steps in creating a successful communication effort. There is also a sample video that discusses the key issues facing many desalination projects, such as energy usage, impacts to marine life and where desalination is being used successfully today. The presenters will convey their observations on what they see occurring in the industry and lessons learned so far in the quest to gain public acceptance of desalination.

The presenters are:

Patricia Tennyson, executive vice-president, Katz & Associates, has developed and managed communication, government and community relations, and public affairs and media strategies for water and wastewater agencies.

Mark Millan is the principal of Data Instincts, Public Outreach Consultants – a professional consultancy specialising in public outreach and public involvement for implementing recycled water and desalination projects.

Joseph Charest is a vice president at Katz & Associates specialising in developing multidisciplinary communication programmes designed to raise awareness of issues, frame public debate and change behaviour.