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SOURCE - Winter 2016

Improving Water Quality Through Complete Reservoir Mixing www.ca-nv-awwa.org 27 comfortable. A half-hour open house featured information stations on the forum’s topic and provided subject matter experts for one-on-one information exchange among people uncom-fortable asking questions in public. The open house was followed by discussion led by Lewis Michaelson of Katz & Associates, Inc. Presenta-tions by city staff members preceded remarks by a rotating panel of third-party experts from universities, non-profit organizations, consult-ing firms, and local, state and federal agencies, who were encouraged to speak candidly and provide perspectives about the city’s plans. The final hour focused on attendee discussions and ideas. Attendance fluctuated between 100-200 peo-ple. The forums were live streamed on communi-ty television, significantly extending their reach, and video coverage remained available on the campaign website, RechargeFresno.com. Because panelists, presentations, and discussion changed with each meeting, media coverage was strong. “Intercept interview” videos featured man-on-the- street interviews that demonstrated gaps in the average person’s knowledge about the chal-lenges of Fresno’s water situation. The videos transitioned from interviewee misconceptions about such issues as the cost of water to their (sometimes startled) reactions when the correct information was provided. Step 4: Develop Informational Materials. Fact sheets, poster displays, and website content were developed for use during the forums and other outreach events. Materials were “layered,” providing varying levels of details to meet the demands of various audiences for information on hydrology, water resources, infrastructure and cost concepts. Poster displays, fact sheets, and technical documents were available online, at meetings, in city offices, and at water-related speaking engagements. Step 5: Develop Participation Mechanisms. The campaign included multiple opportunities for the public to provide input or ask questions, including an information line (844-FRESNO-H2O) and website contact form, which was closely monitored by the city’s outreach team. Comment forms were available at forums and speaking engagements, and public input was re-corded on poster boards for later consideration. All input was summarized according to topic and made available online every two weeks to ensure access and transparency. Contact infor-mation for those who submitted comments or attended forums was maintained in an electronic database for e-mail updates. Step 6: Implement Media Updates and Brief Elected Officials. Even with the change in media to focusing on specialized audiences, television, print and radio are valuable for disseminating informa-tion to the broader community. City staff ensured that new, substantive information was shared with the media during each forum meeting and that dis-cussion remained on point. The City Public Informa-tion Office facilitated media access to information and made experts available for radio discussions and live interviews. As the ultimate decision-mak-ers, Fresno’s elected officials were provided with all public informational materials and technical staff re-ports to assure no surprises and provide them with tools to communicate with their constituents. Step 7: Feedback (November 2015). In a par-ticipation campaign it’s essential to demonstrate how public input is used and/or couldn’t be addressed within the context of a particular sit-uation. During the final forum, the city unveiled recommendations for a revised rate increase, tak-ing care to identify specific ways the public had informed decision-making and would continue to influence next steps. Its commitments included: 1) Conservation resources—It would better publicize resources for residents to ad-vance conservation and identify and ap-prove additional resources. 2) Better water system maintenance—It would continue pipeline replacements, and MANAGER’S CORNER CALL TODAY! PLEASANTON 925.225.1900 FOOTHILL RANCH www.miscowater.com 949.458.5555 NSF 61 Certified Tideflex Variable Orifice Nozzles Waterflex Outlet Check Valves Custom Engineered for an Innovative Mixing System • Extensive CFD Modeled Designs • Maintenance Free • No Energy Source Required • Installed in Any Size and Style Tank • Common or Separate Inlet and Outlet


SOURCE - Winter 2016
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