Community Outreach

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Citizens Water Academy a smashing success

With drought dominating the news, the Water Authority launched the Citizens Water Academy in fall 2014 to engage and educate up-and-coming leaders across the San Diego region on a range of water topics.

A diverse inaugural class of 50 graduates said the class series helped them understand the physical movement of water into and around the region, along with a range of critical water issues such as the importance of the region’s water supply diversification strategy, how large-scale water projects are built and maintained, and how water managers are preparing to meet future water supply needs.

The first class proved so popular that applications for the spring and summer classes skyrocketed; people lined up for a behind-the-scenes look at how the Water Authority helps to protect the region’s economy and quality of life through its plans, projects, operations and programs, along with information about regional drought response efforts. Each academy included a tour of world-class water facilities such as the Carlsbad Desalination Project, and participants in each class had the opportunity to interact with top Water Authority executives – enhancing the community dialogue about critical issues.

During its first year, the Citizens Water Academy graduated 134 people from more than 20 communities – and 99 percent of the participants said they would recommend the program to someone else.

Sidebar: 

Speakers Bureau shifts into high gear

Water Authority Board members and staff made nearly 200 presentations during the year – an average of one per workday – to civic groups, businesses and other organizations interested in learning more about water. March, April and May were particularly busy for the agency’s Speakers Bureau, with more than 80 presentations during that stretch as the Water Authority and its member agencies responded to unprecedented statewide emergency water-use regulations.