383-1 Conserving Water—Getting the Message to People.
Created in 1937, Northern Water contracted to build and manage the Colorado-Big Thompson project, which delivered raw water from west of the Continental Divide to northeastern Colorado originally as supplemental water for irrigated agriculture. Currently, Northern Water’s deliveries are 48% to municipalities. Because new water supplies are limited, costly, and face numerous regulatory challenges, Northern Water’s urban landscape water conservation program strives to encourage water conservation by its constituents.
Northern Water’s Irrigation Management hosts two major events each year. One is a Spring Fair, designed for homeowners and families. The other is a field day, with more technical and in-depth review of Northern Water landscape and irrigation projects. Attendance at the Spring Fair has been 350-400 people. Field days have ranged from 40 to 70 people, with main attendance from other water conservation personnel in city or local government. Numerous tours of the Conservation Gardens are conducted each year, for groups ranging from garden clubs to high level public figures. Fact sheets are written and posted on Northern Water’s website, as well as presentations given for various events or conferences. Social media are currently used sparingly, although efforts to increase exposure are underway. We have found that for the general public, weekend events work best. The field days, which are targeted to other professionals, work better on week days.