notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

notebook - Southwest Florida Water Management District

Item 43

Outreach and Planning Committee

October 30, 2012

Routine Report

Significant Activities

Water Conservation Activities

The District promotes water conservation and protection year-round using a variety of methods

including public service advertising, news media outreach, the District’s website, special events,

utility bill inserts, outreach to existing partners and social media efforts such as the online Newsletter, Facebook and Twitter. New Activities Since Last Meeting —

Staff distributed a news release recapping the rainy season, but reminding readers to conserve

water since September rainfall was below normal.


The Communications Bureau uses research to enhance education program design, plan

communications strategies and evaluate programs. For example, focus groups have been used

in the development of campaigns, and public opinion surveys have been used to evaluate these

campaigns. A database of the District’s social research is available at New Activities Since Last Meeting — (1) WaterReuse

Research Foundation Advisory Committee: Staff is serving as a project advisor for the

WateReuse Research Foundation on its Public Acceptance Clearinghouse of Information for

Website development project. In this capacity, the staff member will serve as an advisor and

reviewer during an RFP development, proposal review and implementation process that will

result in an online clearinghouse of research and data on public acceptance of alternative water

supplies (e.g., reclaimed water, desalination). Staff has completed reviewing all proposals and is

currently assisting in picking a vendor for this project. The advisory team will meet with the

vendor by phone to discuss project details. (2) Alternative Water Supply Survey: The alternative

water supply survey was completed in July. The draft report, received from the evaluation

vendor in mid-September, is under review.

Water Conservation Hotel and Motel Program (Water CHAMP SM ) and Water Program for

Restaurant Outreach (Water PRO SM )

Water CHAMP SM promotes water conservation in hotels and motels by encouraging guests to

use their towels and linens more than once during their stay. Participating hotels and motels

receive program materials free of charge. In 2008, the Districtwide five-year water audit

confirmed Water CHAMP participants saved an average of 17 gallons of water per occupied

room per day. Based on these audit findings, the cost benefit for the program, using the total

cost amortized over five years, is $0.47 per thousand gallons of water saved. Water PRO SM

educates both restaurateurs and guests through free materials such as table tents, children’s

coloring sheets, coasters and self-audit checklists. “We serve water only upon request” buttons

are also available for wait staff. The program is being promoted through one-on-one visits with

restaurant managers, partnerships with utility companies, networking at industry meetings and

direct mail. New Activities Since Last Meeting — Water CHAMP has 347 participants. Water

PRO has 255 participants. According to a survey of participants, 28 restaurants are no longer in

business and have been removed from Water PRO roles.

Florida Water Star SM (FWS) Certification Program

FWS is a voluntary certification program for builders, which encourages water efficiency in

appliances, plumbing fixtures, irrigation systems and landscapes, as well as water quality

benefits from best management practices (BMPs) in landscapes. The program includes

certifications for new homes, existing homes, commercial properties and communities. This is

the program’s fourth year in the District; the first house was certified March 25, 2009. New

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