As the world is facing clean water limitations and surface water scarcity due to population growth, climate change, and non-sustainable use of water, transformational leadership has become a necessity to solve these worldwide problems. As part of the WEF Water Leadership Institute’s (WLI) 2020 cohort, we were able to learn some of those skills, as well as develop a Community Outreach Webcast Series as part of our final project.
According to the Brookings Institution there were 1.7 million people in the US water industry in 2016. However, most people don’t give much thought to things like where their water comes from, where their waste goes, or how flooding is controlled. When asked what they want to be when they grow up, many children probably won’t respond with an answer that relates to an occupation within the water sector. Our cohort acknowledged this invisibility issue when we collectively identified a lack of public awareness as a top challenge facing the water industry.
In support of this year’s WLI theme, “Public Awareness: Meeting the Needs of the Water Workforce-- Today AND Tomorrow,” the cohort was split into teams to focus on five topics within the sector. For each topic, we developed two Outreach Activity Guides targeted at two different age groups for people to use in their own communities. We are hosting a five-part webcast series to explain how to use the activities we developed and the need for community outreach in these five areas:
• Aging Infrastructure: The Danger Brewing Right Under our Feet
• Going with the Flow: A Lifelong Journey of Water Education
• Maintaining the Ripple Effect
• The Future is Now
• One Water: Our Water, Your Water
Please register for this webcast series to learn about challenges and solutions of public awareness and community outreach. Each webcast incorporates outreach activities for audiences spanning elementary school students to adults. These outreach activities can be used in classrooms and community events (virtual or otherwise) to educate the public, motivate change agents, and to spark interest in the next generation of water professionals.
Sign up here: www.wef.org/OutreachSeries