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1 WATER CONSERVATION EDUCATION PROGRAMS EPD Guidance Document August 2007 TABLE OF CONTENTS __________________ 3 r Water Conservation Education Part 1: Making the Case fo ____________________ 4 Part 2: Education Programs for Water System Employees Steps to build conservation awareness among employees.__________________________ 4 ______________________________ 5 Part 3: Public Education and School Programs Goals of a Public Education Program__________________________________________ 5 Building Public Awareness and Understanding __________________________________ 6 Specific Tools for Building Public Awarene ss and Understanding for Conservation _____ 7 School Programs: Building Knowledge and Understanding ______________________ 11 Specific Tools for Students _________________________________________________ 11 Part 4: Conservation Education Program Checklist _________________________ 14 For Public Awareness and Understanding for Conservation _______________________ 14 For Student Education_____________________________________________________ 15 Georgia Environmental Protection Division Watershed Protection Branch Guidance Document 1 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

2 Guidance Document Water Conservation Education Programs Developed by the Georgia Environm ental Protection Division (EPD) To support the “ Coastal Georgia Water and Wastewater Permitting Plan for Managing Saltwater Intrusion” August 2007 This guidance document is intended for entities in the 24-county area of Georgia’ s coast addressed in the “Coastal Georgia Water and Wastewater Permitting Plan for Managing Saltwater Intrusion”, located in Sub-Regions 1, 2 and 3. It applies to municipal groundwater users, and the following categories of public/private drinking water suppliers: ƒ Public Community Water Systems (CWS) with Water Withdrawal and/or Operating Permits; ƒ Governmentally Owned or Operated Public Drinking Water Systems with an Operating Permit; or ƒ Governmentally Owned or Operated Transient Non-Community (TNCWS) or Non-Transient Non- Community Public Water Systems (NTNCWS) with e ither an Operating Permit and/or a Withdrawal Permit. ƒ Privately Owned or Operated P ublic Community Drinking Water Systems with ONLY an Operating Permit; It is designed to guide the development and implementa tion of a water conservation education program including water system employee training, public information programs, and school programs. For most Upper Floridan aquifer gr oundwater withdrawal permittees in the When to use this guidance document: coastal counties of Georgia, a special condition of all new or modified withdrawal permits will be development and implementation of a water conservati on education program. This program must be conducted in accordance with these guidelines and reported to the Division’s District Office for concurrence no later than 12 months from the permit issue date. How to use this guidance document: The guidance is organized in three parts: Part 1 – Making the Case for Water Conservation Education – provides the rationale for de veloping and implementing water conservation education programs; Part 2 – Developing a Training Program for Water Syetem Employees – presents a general process to educate and train your employees on how to minimize the loss and waste of water within the distribution and treatment systems. Part 3 – Developing a Public Education Program – pr esents a general process for developing and implementing the most appropriate conservation public education approach for your area. Part 4 – Checklists – contains checklists to identify the conservation education programs you have implemented. After implementing the items you have checked as part of a comprehensive education program, submit this checklist along with any supporting documentation to the appropriate EPD District Office within 12 months of the permit issuance date. to Governmentally Owned Community Most of the methods described in th is Guidance Document will only apply ectively by small, privately owned or operated Community Water Systems. However, other methods can be used eff Water Systems. Those methods will be i ndicated in the text of the document. l information, please contact the EPD Water EPD contact: If you have any questions, or require additiona Coastal Permitting Plan is implemented, EPD will Withdrawal Program, at 404-675-1680. As the July 2006 welcome feedback from permittees regarding this guidance document. Guidance Document 2 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

3 r Water Conservation Education Part 1: Making the Case fo Water is a limited resource. With Georgia’s populations growing in our urban centers, threatened species being further endangered, and the cost of new wate r sources rising steadily we must learn to use water more efficiently and conserve where possible. Water c onservation is a critical element of any future water management strategy. ers save water, save time, and save money throughout Water conservation can help you and your custom the year, not just in the summer. It is defined as the “beneficial reduction in water use, waste and loss” and is proven to be the most economical and envir onmentally protective management tool for meeting water supply challenges Virtually all water conservation efforts depend on public awareness and understanding of the need for conservation. Conservation efforts are only considered successful if results can be measured and results .g. commercial, residential, industrial and agricultural). are targeted to the particular type of water user (e Minimizing water use, waste, and loss over time is heavily dependant on continually evaluating and adopting new technologies and practices. Education and technical assistance programs are important to fficiency and water conservation. Without adequate inform people about the impact of improved water e servation measures and practices into place, however knowledge, water users lack the ability to put con motivated they may be. Water professionals around the country note that successful water conservation programs are comprised of multiple components. Individually, each component of a water conservation program can get results, but the most reliable results are obtained by the integration of all components. One of the most critical components of a program is a robust education and outreach program that reaches water provider employees, school children, and adults. Furthermore, investments in public and targeted nd public awareness tends to build political support and education have high water conservation returns, a participation. The responsibility for ensuring a sustainable water futu re lies with the community as a whole; everyone has a role to play to make sure that all water (rain water, stormwater, public water supply, etc.) is treated responsibly and planned for properly. Education of the public at large, municipal officials and water suppliers is crucial to genera ting an understanding of the issues, and creating acceptance to the implementation of water conservation efforts. It is important to provide to the public the basic ces management and planning and to explain the associated understanding of sound water resour economic and environmental benefits . Public education and outreach can be an essential prerequisite to the successful adoption and implementation of conservation practices. The next two parts of this guidance address two major cat egories of an educational effort that are critical to building an understanding of water conservation a nd the impact it can have on businesses, individuals, egories should be pursued in order to see the full homeowners, and the environment. Both of these cat spectrum of benefits a water conservation program can offer. Guidance Document 3 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

4 Part 2: Education Programs for Water System Employees When implementing a water conservation edu cation program, building understanding among your employees and other professionals with which you in teract is important. Building water conservation awareness and education among employees can not only save water, but can also save money on operational and production costs. Educated employees will be able to identify problems before they become serious and can help think innovatively about wa ys to conserve or reuse water within the facility. training and workshops on water conservation. The In Georgia, several professional associations offer Georgia Association of Water Professionals, the Ge orgia Water-Wise Council (a section of the Georgia gia Rural Water Association often target water Association of Water Professionals), and the Geor conservation through conferences, mee tings, trainings and workshops. Steps to build conservation awareness among employees. 1.) Adopt a water conservation policy or incorporat e water conservation practices into the official standard operating procedures for your water system facility . business leaders and employees in water conservation An important step in educating and engaging your is the development of a clear policy or procedures th at the utility or local government can implement to achieve results. This commitment can come in the form of: policy statements, positions, statements of commitment, or the adoption of regular conserva tion practices into the facility standard operating procedure. Georgia EPD with assistance from the Georgia WaterWise Council has developed several model ♦ your own water conservation ordinance(s). (Go to ordinances that can help guide the development of www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net , or contact the Georgia EPD at 404-675-6232 for more information.) 2.) Conduct regular water audits. Water audits may be included in a water conservation policy or Standard Operating Procedures (as discussed above), but due to their importance, water audits deserve a Audits conducted regularly can inform wate r providers and end users of systematic step of their own. ways to improve or eliminate water lost to leaks and aging appliances, equipment, and infrastructure. For more information, please see the Pollution Preven tion Assistance Division’s Guidance Document on Water Audits at www.p2ad.org or. Water audits should be conducte d by all permitted water systems, including small, privately owned Community Water Sy stems. Recently several documents have been developed to help residential customers learn more about their use and audit their own homes. ♦ See the EPD Guidance Document on Conducting Water Audits at http://www.gadnr.org/cws/ The Georgia Pollution Prevention Assistance Divi sion offers assistance to businesses and industries ♦ onservation. They offer a variety of services to interested in water conservation and energy c businesses, including conducting a water audit, assis ting with retrofitting high-water use devices and machinery, and helping train staff to conduct regular r more information about audits of operations. Fo their services, go to their website at www.p2ad.org or contact them directly at (404) 651-5120 or (800) 685-2443. Guidance Document 4 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

5 ♦ gia Metropolitan Water Planning Districts have Both Cobb County, Georgia, and the North Geor developed water audit guides to help homeowners save water. Links to these guidance documents are available online at http://www.conservewa tergeorgia.net/Documents/indoor_tips.html 3.) Offer educational material and advanced trai ning opportunities for facility managers and staff leaders. Water conservation is addressed in the Georgia Rules and Regulations (Chapters 391-3-6-.07(4) and 391-3-2-.04(11)) In particular, a water conservati on plan must be developed and presented with any new or expanded application to w per day. These plans require the ithdraw over 100,000 gallons of water permit applicant to address a number of issues, incl uding water pricing structure; leak detection and elimination; availability of accurate maps of the wa ter system; meter maintenance, testing, replacement, calibration; prevention of unauthorized water use – fire hydrants, fire lines, etc; a list of unmetered service connections including publicly owned facilities, c hurches, etc.; and five year updates and progress reports. If your facility has a water conservation plan on file or is in the process of developing one, it is important Educating staff about the elements of your own to inform employees of these plans and their elements. portance of conservation and encourage innovative conservation plan can help them understand the im ideas about new ways to save water and money. The American Water Works Association offers adva ♦ nced training in water conservation efforts at least once a year. You can request discounted rates or scholarships to help staff members attend. www.awwa.org/ ♦ annual meetings and semi-annual workshops The Georgia Association of Water Professionals regularly have entire sessions devoted to wate r conservation information and education. www.gawponline.org Association County Commissioners of Georgia and ♦ The Georgia Department of Community Affairs, d an online Water Resources Toolkit for Local Georgia Municipal Association have develope Governments that has various items that may be u seful to water providers, particularly those just e Toolkit offers a presentation about the importance getting active in the water conservation arena. Th of water conservation. Go to www.georgiaplanning.com/watertoolkit for more information ♦ The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has detailed information for water providers on the www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net website . The site provides a link to many pages of information devoted to water providers and innovative ideas on wa ys providers can encourage conservation, track results, and share success and failures with other providers. Part 3: Public Education and School Programs Goals of a Public Education Program on-related education progr Those who participate in the water conservati am should understand : Guidance Document 5 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

6 1. l, reducing water demands, and minimizing water The environmental benefits of keeping water loca withdrawals. This should include education regardi ng the connection between ground water and surface water; the potential impacts of withdrawals on stream flow and instream uses such as fish and wildlife habitats, recreation, and pollution dilu tion; and the relationship between groundwater pumping and salt water intrusion for coastal areas. 2. Water conservation helps water quality as well. Conservation helps septic systems work better and last longer, and helps wastewater treatment plants function better. Water conservation also enables more water to be retained in the natural envi ronment where it helps dilute pathogens and other m excessive heating that can harm aquatic life. pollutant concentrations, and buffers waterways fro 3. Investments in efficiency and conservation will provid e water users with long-term savings compared er supply sources and wastewater treatment facilities. to the cost of developing and treating new wat For example, through a domestic retrofit program, including publicity, follow-up visits or mailings, water suppliers can make customers aware that making a few simple changes can provide tangible savings. These costs include planning, engineering, construction, 4. The costs involved in providing water. operation, maintenance, treatment, wastewater facilities costs, piping, metering, leak detection, , health care, staff training, and public education. compliance costs, salaries, protection costs, pensions 5. Water-smart landscaping, gardening, effic Up to 50 % of ient irrigation, and lawn care practices. water used for landscape irrigation can be lost due to over-watering, evaporation, or bad irrigation system design or maintenance. For a family of four over the course of just one year, the amount of water wasted is equivalent to letting the shower run continuously for almost a week! (EPA 2006). 6. Why it is equally important for self-supplied water users (e.g., home or businesses on their own private wells) to conserve water, especially when their water source might dry up an aquatic habitat or deplete the water available for public use (e.g., if their withdrawal point taps the same aquifer as a nearby public wellfield). 7. Ways to share information about the importance of conservation and how to stay up to date on new Information sharing is very important to maintain technologies, ideas, programs and incentives. efficient use of water and minimize waste. Indi viduals can be empowered to engage neighbors, elected officials, businesses, and others when adequate information and materials are easily accessible. Building Public Awareness and Understanding ound water conservation is to identify and target the The best way to begin a public education program ar largest water users in your service area to receive th e bulk of the educational efforts (distribution of material, assistance, messaging, etc...) This way you ma y be able to realize the greatest potential savings . and to demonstrate the benefits early in the life of a conservation program Three critical elements for lated to water conservation are: generating public understanding of issues re ducate the public on issues related to water 1. Create a process to inform, involve, and e management and the importance of water conservation Guidance Document 6 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

7 Public Involvement Strategies: A Manager’s Handbook , published by the American Water Works www.awwa.org Association Research Foundation ( ) describes ten general steps to designing and implementing an effective public involvement progr am. In this context, these ten steps should be catered to water conservation efforts. 1. Frame the problem 2. Identify constraints 3. Identify and describe decision steps and project milestones 4. Identify and understand potentia lly affected stakeholders 5. Determine vulnerability and must-resolve issues 6. Determine the appropriate level of public involvement 7. Select processes and techniques appropriate to achieve the first six steps 8. Develop a public involvement plan using information from step 7 9. Implement and monitor the work plan 10. Manage change 2. Build government involvement Consider approaching your local governing body (c ounty commission, city council, etc.) and encourage them to adopt a general water conservation ordinan ce. Such local ordinances can 1) describe the local government and/or the utility’s efforts to save water in their own operations, 2) describe ways the local government is conserving water and helping community members save water, 3) reflect the state outdoor watering schedule rules/regulations or any altere d schedule your jurisdiction has adopted. Water conservation ordinances can also be targeted toward a particular water-use activity or management effort. Examples include, but are not limited to, landscaping or xeriscaping ordinances, ordinances for out-door oriented rate structures. It is important to note water use, and ordinances for implementing conservation- that the effectiveness of theses tools will be highly de pendant on your local situation and your customer base; therefore communication and coordination with your outreach and communication staff as well as your billing department is critical to target the appropriate customers. Specific Tools for Building Public Awareness and Understanding for Conservation Public Tool #1: Create a local or regional staff position . place for the public to contact with questions and Designate one individual or office as a go-to person/ concerns. This staff position could be supported by and offer services to only one water provider, or and offer services to many providers in a the position could be a joint position, supported by particular region. Responsibilities could include: ♦ developing, administering and evaluating con servation activities targeted to customers; managing any internal programs to conserve water; ♦ ♦ organizing external efforts to promote the efficient use of the area’s water supply; ♦ coordinating activities related to conser vation-oriented grant writing; and ♦ staff engaged in conservation program implementation. managing and supervising any Public Tool #2: . Create an interactive and informative website nd many use it as a primary source of information. Most water customers have access to the Internet, a r conservation page, include at a minimum: If you have your own website and can add a wate information about your rate structure and how customers are charged for water services; 1) Guidance Document 7 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

8 general information about your local water resources; 2) 3) the importance of water conservation a nd the general environmental, economic and regulatory benefits associated with conservation practices; and 4) information about the current outdoor watering schedule, and where customers can go to get more information. ♦ If your utility or local government does not have its own website in which you can include conservation information, the Georgia Depa rtment of Natural Resources has a website dedicated to water conservation. Feel free to reference your customers to www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net Use the water bill as the first-line educational tool. Public Tool #3: Many water professionals agree that the most e ffective way to reach customers is through their pocketbooks. The water bill, when coupled with a water conservation-oriented rate structure (See Guidance Document on Developing Conservation-Oriented Rate Structures at http://www.gadnr.org/cws ), can be a powerful educational t ool and encourage water users to get involved with their water providers and decision makers. Bills should include: 1) Water use for which the customer is being billed in a volumetric way. Include a conversion table if customers are charged per hundred cubic feet (ccf) or per 1000 gallons. One hundred cubic feet (ccf – the most common measurement unit of water) is equivalent to about 748 gallons. 2) A comparison of each customer’s water use to previous years and a graph showing use on a monthly basis for the current year. 3) If conservation-oriented rates are employed, include the volume of water in each tier of use or the volume of water for which a sur-charge was billed. 4) Consider providing a table enabling the recipi ent to estimate the household gallons per capita ewide water use averages. per day compared with stat ple water bill that may be helpful to use ♦ Georgia WaterWise Council has developed an exam as a starting point. Go to www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net or contact EPD at 404-675-6232 for details. ♦ : Cobb County Marietta Water Authority a Example dopted a detailed water bill in 2006. Go for more information. to http://water.cobbcountyga.gov/billing.htm Public Tool #4: Retrofit programs are Offer retrofit and rebate programs for high-water devices. nges that can impact the amount of water they use a way to enable customers to make permanent cha for particular purposes. The most popular retrofit or rebate programs are focused on toilets. Toilets age home. Retrofit programs should be targeted to can use nearly 30 percent of the water in an aver placing high-flush toilets (those that use 3.5 older neighborhoods with older homes and businesses. Re gallons or more per flush) with ultra-low flow toile ts (those that use 1.6 gallons per flush) an average per toilet per year. High Efficiency Technology family of four can save 13,800 gallons of water gallons per flush, as chosen by the user) can save an toilets (include dual flush toilets that use .8 or 1.6 average family of four 18,500 gallons of water per toilet per year. Other retrofit and rebate programs offer replacem ents for other high water using devices such as e least expensive to implement ers, showerheads and faucets. Th clothes washing machines, dishwash and the one providing significant results are the showerheads and faucet aerators. Guidance Document 8 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

9 ♦ a program called Water Sense that identifies The US Environmental Protection Agency has technologies and devices that are water efficient and field-tested. Visit their website www.epa.gov/watersense ♦ Example : City of Savannah toilet retrofit program has been in place since 1998 and has reduced water withdrawals 3.8 million gallons a day through a toilet retrofit and educational program. Public Tool #5: Provide educationalbill stuffers. These may be the most cost-effective method for small, privately owned CWS. ♦ The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has a very informative educational brochure entitled “Every Drop Counts” and a water conservation tips bookmark. Both are downloadable from their website and the bookmark fits into standard envelopes, Go to www.georgiaplanning.com/watertoolkit ♦ The Georgia Extension Service and the Geor gia WaterWise Council have produced a series of educational brochures on minimizing water use in the landscape. These brochures are downloadable from the Internet, easily fit into standard envelopes and include a place for the user/distributor to include their own logo before printing. Go to www.ConserveWaterGeorgia.net to access these brochures. Water-Use It Wisely” ♦ national water conservation campaign has been very The renowned “ successful in many parts of the country, in part, due to the recognizable and attractive brochures created for its purpose. If you are inter ested in this material feel free to contact directly or visit their website at www.wuiw.com Water-Use It Wisely Public Tool #6: Offer or suggest speakers for community organizations. Leadership lies in a variety of places in different communities. Ofte n civic organizations have requirements for environmental or conservation oriented service projects or workshops. ♦ The Georgia WaterWise Council has organized a speakers bureau to help communities and and organization to address a particular issue organizations identify the appropriate individual related to water conservation. Go to www.gwwc.org for a list of contacts associated with the speaker’s bureau. ♦ If you choose to send speakers out from your utility or local government, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs has developed a PowerPoint presentation and accompanying script that covers the basic principles of water con servation. To access this presentation, go to: www.georgiaplanning.com/watertoolkit . Public Tool #7: Organize and promote special events such as Conservation Fairs or Workshops. If initial educational efforts are successful, customer s will request additional information regarding practices and devices they can use to help them save water and save money. Conservation-specific for more information. You can also piggy-back fairs and workshops are one way to address this need on county fairs or events by just setting up a c onservation booth to give away water-saving devices and/or educational material. lay that is available for use at a variety The Georgia WaterWise Council has a table-top disp ♦ of events and affairs. If you are interested in having a WWC member bring the display board Guidance Document 9 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

10 to an event, contact the WaterWise president through the Georgia Association of Water Professionals website www.gawponline.org All the material listed under the educational b ill stuffers can be printed and used as handouts ♦ at fairs or conservation-focused events. ♦ Example : In 2003 the Georgia Department of Comm unity Affairs and various educational organizations partnered to host the first Winning Water Children’s Water Festival . This educational festival was open to all 4th gr classes located in the ade teachers and their Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint River B asins (ACF). The ACF festival explored all aspects of water through interactive and dyna mic activities – including water conservation material and activities. The Winning Water Festival has been moved to different river basins around the state each year since 2003 and is designed to encourage other organizations in these river basins to continue hosting their own festivals. Public Tool #8 : Offer free self-retrofit water con servation kits to water users. In an effort to encourage more efficient use of water for household purposes, a relatively inexpensive method is to provide water conservation retrofit kits. Many communities offer a limited number of water services and limit citizens to one kit per these kits to those communities demanding the most household. Many companies now offer water conservation k its and will help manage a retrofit program ings and costs.) Such programs and supporting (coordinating distribution and calculating water sav companies can be easily found with an Internet search. Public Tool #9: dio/T.V./audio-visual presentations. Offer public service announcements; ra a free opportunity for city and county officials to The Georgia Department of Community Affairs offers cements at the annual meetings of the Georgia create water conservation and other public service announ y Commissioners of Georgia. Members of these Municipal Association and the Association Count organizations are provided with suggested messages to record into public service announcements for their communities. aining Foundation has a program called “Earth ♦ The National Environmental Education and Tr Gauge” which provides information on water qua lity and conservation, recycling and other environmental issues to radio and TV meteorologist for insertion into their daily broadcasts. tices of their events and websites. For more Participating organizations may also provide no information, see the Earth Gauge web site for meteorologists at http://www.earthgauge.net/ for ways to contribute information to the program. Other suggested tools for Effective Conservation Education Programs: ♦ Public-space advertising to highlight stories on successes (and failures). rdware stores to promote conservation devices. Create and distribute joint advertising with ha ♦ Guidance Document 10 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

11 Build partnerships with garden clubs, Keep Georgia Beautiful Programs, environmental ♦ organizations and others on campaigns to promote “WaterSmart” landscape practices and other water conservation efforts. ♦ Promote contests and offer recognition fo r innovation in the conservation field. Offer multi-lingual materials to communities, as needed. ♦ School Programs: Building Knowledge and Understanding provide suggestions as to the best way to develop This section of Part III of the guidance is designed to school programs that emphasize the importance of wate r conservation in the home, in school and in the community at large. Each bold statement below, can stand alone, but is most effective if implemented in concert with the others. both formal and non-formal. Many water providers Water issues are key to environmental education – aged children to be the champions and the leaders have embraced the potential of younger citizens, school in environmental conservation. Building a strong and positive relationship with the local school board or the educational administrators in your area is importa nt and can lead to significant savings in water and e educational institutions, and for the student’s costs of operation – for the water provider, for th family/home. Strong relationships between water provider and educational instituti ons do not occur naturally. They must be developed and nurtured if the conservation et hic is to be built into traditional and non-traditional education efforts. The following tools may help y ou develop a new relationshi p or to strengthen an institutions in your service area. existing relationship with the educational Specific Tools for Students School Tool #1: Form partnerships with public education institutions such as K-12 schools, ers, science centers, aquariums, zoos, and other government universities, museums, nature cent programs to accomplish your goals. The Environmental Education Alliance of Georgi a is a nonprofit organization with the mission “to strengthen the quality and availability of envir onmental education in Georgia.” Environmental Education Alliance is a state affiliate of the North American Association for Environmental Education and represents 400+ members. Members include classroom teachers and non-formal educators from state agencies, botan ical gardens, corporations, zoos, universities, local governments, nature centers and schools throughout the state. Environmental Education Alliance provides members with a quarterly newsletter, The Link, an annual symposium for classroom teachers, an annual conference, and other learning opportunities. www.eealliance.org for more information. Visit ♦ Offer water conservation education workshops for teachers. School Tool #2: Guidance Document 11 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

12 Georgia has several programs already designed to offer support for teachers interested in learning more about water related issues. Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) is a public service offered by the Georgia Department of Natural R esources. Project WET workshops can target water conservation with the CONSERVE WATER curriculu m. By participating in a 6-10 hour workshop, teachers will receive the Project WET Curricu lum and Activity Guide, over 90 K-12 activities developed, field-tested and reviewed by 600 e ducators and resource managers working with 34,000 students nationwide. By participating in a 10-16 hour workshop, a representative from your organization can become a certified facilitator a nd provide these workshops for teachers in your community. The Georgia Conservancy has developed Georgia’s Native Waters , an environmental education curriculum developed around Georgia-specific issues, habitats, and animals. After building a habitats and uses of water in Georgia the final chapter entitled knowledge base about the important “The Future of Georgia’s Water” is targeted at building a water conservation ethic in students and teaching them practical ways to reduce water use, waste and loss. Another helpful source of material and informati on for teachers is currently being developed. The initiative known as the “Education Roundtable” is developing a series of water conservation educational kits or toolboxes that can be loaned to schools, teachers or non-formal education centers. These kits are available to anyone with an inter est in teaching about drought, water use, and water conservation. Project WET - Visit www.gaprojectwet.org for more information ♦ ♦ Georgia Conservancy Water Curriculum – www.gaconservancy.org ♦ www.eeingeorgia.org Education Roundtable – School Tool #3: Offer water conservation field experiences and in class programs for K-12 students. The North American Association for Environmental Education has developed the publication, Excellence in Environmental Educati on—Guidelines for Learning (Pre K–12), which can be useful in the development of programs for K-12 students. It describes a level of skill or knowledge appropriate for each of three grad e levels: fourth, eighth, and twelfth. Visit http://www.naaee.org/programs-and-initiativ ♦ es/guidelines-for-excellence/materials- guidelines/learner-guidelines for more information. : Promote your school programs. School Tool #4 One of the greatest ways to influence student s and encourage more participation is through promotion of a program and/or achievements of that program. The Online Guide to Environmental Education in Georgia, www.EEinGeorgia.org , is a public service offered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This web site provides standards-based levels and subject areas, a searchable directory environmental education lesson plans for all grade of the state’s over 200 environmental educati on organizations, an environmental education resource database, a calendar of environmenta l education events, facts about Georgia’s cation news. A monthly electronic newsletter environment, and current environmental edu notifies over 2,000 subscribers about the latest e nvironmental education grants, contests, awards, events, etc. added to the web site. The primar y target audience is classroom teachers and other educators. Any organization that meets the following criteria can be added to the organization directory: 1. Presents fair and accurate information Guidance Document 12 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

13 2. Uses constructive techniques to empower people to draw and act on their own conclusions ontain concepts, language, and activities Provides educational resources that c 3. that are developmentally appropriate for the intended audience Every year the Georgia WaterWise Council, a section of the Georgia Association of Water tion-related projects and initiatives. The emphasis Professionals, offers awards for water conserva onservation award will be given to a business or is on a rotating basis – one year the water c industrial water user and the next year to a wa ter provider. If you are actively promoting or tion in your school system, through funding, training or other supporting water conservation educa types of support, you should consider nominati ng the program for the WaterWise Council award. Recognition for a job well done is always appreciated. www.GAWP.org Go to ♦ onservation-oriented awards and for for more information about the c instructions on how you can nominate your program. ♦ www.eeingeorgia.org Visit for the Online Guide to Environmental Education, listings of important educational events, and other information. Guidance Document 13 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

14 Part 4: Conservation Education Program Checklist Use the following checklist to help you develop a comprehensive conservation education program for your water system employees, customers, or community. After implementing the program incorporating the items you have checked, submit this checklist along with any supporting documentation (such as bill e appropriate EPD District Office within 12 months stuffers, documentation of school programs, etc.) to th of the permit issuance date. For Water System Employees Did you: ate water conservation practices into the official ___1. Adopt a water conservation policy or incorpor standard operating procedures for your facility. ___2. Incorporate water conservation practices into the official standard operating procedures for your facility. ___3. Conduct regular water audits. aining opportunities for facility managers and staff ___4. Offer educational material and advanced tr leaders. ___5. Other (please describe) For Public Awareness and Understanding for Conservation Did you: ___ 1. Create a local or regional staff position. ___2. Create an interactive and informative website. If so, what is the web address? ___3 Use the water bill as the first-line educational tool . programs for high-water devices. ___4. Offer retrofit and rebate ___5. Provide educational bill stuffers. ___6. Offer or suggest speakers for community organizations. ___7. Organize and promote special events such as Conservation Fairs or Workshops. ___8. Offer free self-retrofit water conservation kits to water users. Guidance Document 14 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

15 ___9. Offer public service announcements; radio/T.V./audio-visual presentations. ___10. Public-space advertising to highlight stories on successes (and failures). ___11. Create joint advertising with hardware stores to promote conservation devices. eep Georgia Beautiful Programs, environmental ___12. Build partnerships with garden clubs, K paigns to promote “WaterSmart” landscape practices and other organizations and others on cam water conservation efforts. for innovation in the conservation field. ___13. Promote contests and offer recognition ___14. Offer multi-lingual materials to communities, as needed. ___15. Other (please describe) For Student Education Did you: ___1. Form partnerships with public education ins titutions such as K-12 schools, universities, museums, oos, and other government programs to accomplish nature centers, science centers, aquariums, z your goals. ___2. Offer water conservation e ducation workshops for teachers. ___3. Offer water conservation field experiences and in class programs for K-12. ___4. Promote your school programs. ___5. Other (please describe) Guidance Document 15 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

16 Resources and Reference Cited AWWA 1990. American Water Works Association. . Denver, Water Audits and Leak Detection CO. Nonformal Environmental North American Association for Environmental Education, 2004. North American Association for Education Programs: Guidelines for Excellence. Environmental Education. 36 ppg. U.S. EPA 2006. WaterSense Efficiency Made Easy. “For your Yard or Landscape.” Available http://epa.gov/watersense/pp/irrigate/index.htm online at Guidance Document 16 Water Conservation Education Programs August 2007

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