Florida City Uses WATER’S WORTH IT® To Emphasize Importance of Water

April 23, 2013

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A child attending Stuart, Florida's Saturday in the Park Water Fest in April wears a WATER'S WORTH IT shirt. Photo courtesy of Christine Miranda, Florida Water Environment Association.

A child attending Stuart, Florida's Saturday in the Park Water Fest in April wears a WATER'S WORTH IT shirt. Photo courtesy of Christine Miranda, Florida Water Environment Association.

The City of Stuart, Fla., is on a mission to emphasize the importance of water to its residents. And when the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) launched its WATER’S WORTH IT® messaging campaign on March 22, 2012, the city recognized it as “a perfect fit,” said David Peters, assistant public works director.

“We were looking for a new message to emphasize the importance of water in Stuart,” Peters said. With the launch of WATER’S WORTH IT, the city has jumped on board and begun integrating the campaign into its brand, he added.

Stuart, Florida water, sewer, and stormwater public works vehicles spread the WATER'S WORTH IT message through these license plates. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

Stuart, Florida water, sewer, and stormwater public works vehicles spread the WATER'S WORTH IT message through these license plates. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

Peters, a member of the Florida Water Environment Association (Orlando), learned about the campaign during a WEF webcast held after the campaign’s launch. During the past year, the city has used numerous resources and merchandise, such as the logos, buttons, and T-shirts that WEF provides for the campaign at www.WatersWorthIt.org.

Stuart is a small community on the east coast of Florida bordered by the St. Lucie River, Peters explained. Stuart not only has an outstanding citywide stormwater system, it also has a popular water conservation program and a recently completed reclaimed-water system, he said. “Water is all around us,” he said. This makes the water conservation message important, he added.

Walk for Water challenge participants included both children and adults who walked 0.4 km (0.25 mi) carrying 7.6-L (2-gal) jugs of water to learn about and raise awareness for what women and children in developing countries do daily for their water supply. Photo courtesy of Greg Chomic, Florida Water Environment Association.

Walk for Water challenge participants included both children and adults who walked 0.4 km (0.25 mi) carrying 7.6-L (2-gal) jugs of water to learn about and raise awareness for what women and children in developing countries do daily for their water supply. Photo courtesy of Greg Chomic, Florida Water Environment Association.

The city’s water conservation program is popular with residents and features the mascot Sammi the Sailfish. It culminates in the annual Saturday in the Park Water Fest held on April 6. The water-focused public-outreach event features a walk for water challenge, rain-barrel decorating contest, water conservation poster contest, and hands-on educational exhibits, including water testing and an informational booth staffed by WEF members, Peters said. T-shirts were given as prizes during this year’s event. The city’s use of the WATER’S WORTH IT message at this event in 2012 won the city an honorable mention for its video entry in the program’s video contest held last summer. For more details, read the Highlights article “Watch the WATER’S WORTH IT Winning Videos.”

Stuart’s second annual Saturday in the Park Water Fest educated hundreds of attendees about various topics including water conservation, water quality, watersheds, and prescription drug disposal, and spread the WATER’S WORTH IT message. Photo courtesy of of Greg Chomic, Florida Water Environment Association.

Stuart’s second annual Saturday in the Park Water Fest educated hundreds of attendees about various topics including water conservation, water quality, watersheds, and prescription drug disposal, and spread the WATER’S WORTH IT message. Photo courtesy of of Greg Chomic, Florida Water Environment Association.

Saturday in the Park Water Fest attendees were able to visit booths educating about the value and importance of water. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

Saturday in the Park Water Fest attendees were able to visit booths educating about the value and importance of water. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

Saturday in the Park Water Fest attendees were able to visit with Stuart's water conservation program mascot mascot Sammi the Sailfish. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

Saturday in the Park Water Fest attendees were able to visit with Stuart's water conservation program mascot mascot Sammi the Sailfish. Photo courtesy of Mary Kindel, City of Stuart.

The WATER’S WORTH IT message can be found throughout the city: on banners in the downtown area; on the license plates of water, sewer, and stormwater public works vehicles; and on the shirts of city staff. “Our staff wears city-provided WATER’S WORTH IT T-shirts as a part of the approved uniform policy,” Peters said. The city plans to continue using this message on its website, in its vision and mission statements, in utility bills, and in newspaper editorials, he added.

 

—    Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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