CA outreach, advertising campaign to encourage water conservation amid drought

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LOS ANGELES, CA, March 11, 2014 -- Today, California's Metropolitan Water District's board of directors approved a regional communications, outreach and advertising campaign geared toward promoting greater water awareness and encouraging additional conservation. This endeavor was inititated in response to California's statewide drought emergency and Metropolitan's own recent Water Supply Alert declaration.

Metropolitan's board authorized up to $5.5 million annually for a three-year multi-pronged, multimedia campaign that will employ radio, television, print, online, and outdoor advertising, along with an extensive media and community relations effort. The campaign will focus on the value of water, the need to conserve and the importance of investing now in water-use efficiency to prepare for the future. The action authorizes an agreement with Fraser Communications to work with Metropolitan and the district's member agencies to initiate a focused, strategic campaign. Funding for outreach in subsequent years would require board authorization.

"Southern Californians have stepped up to the plate and made extensive regional investments over the past 20 years to diversify supplies and solidify water reliability, but there is no doubt the current drought is a call to re-double our conservation efforts," said Metropolitan General Manager Jeffrey Kightlinger. "The drought has drawn the public's attention to the fact that we live in a semi-arid climate that requires us to continue to make gains in water awareness and conservation practices."

In response to Governor Brown's drought emergency declaration in January, Metropolitan's board last month established a Water Supply Alert calling for increased awareness of supply conditions and extraordinary conservation throughout the district's 5,200-square-mile service area. Last month, the board also increased Metropolitan's annual conservation and outreach budget by $20 million, of which $5.5 million was identified for the regional communication and outreach campaign.

"Our past campaigns demonstrate a multimedia outreach effort can be highly effective in raising consumer awareness and improving the public’s understanding of the value of water, ways to conserve and the need to reinvest in our water systems to maintain and increase reliability," Kightlinger said. "“We expect a seamless start-up for this new campaign, which will allow for a rapid rollout that leads to immediate water savings."

See also:

"New financing program aims to help CA residents conserve water amid drought"

"CA declares drought state of emergency, water agencies stable, research shows"

"CA water district adopts resolution declaring Drought Alert"

About Metropolitan

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving nearly 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs. For more information, visit www.mwdh2o.com.

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