As NACWA continued building its communications and media outreach through the Utility Leadership Conference and Strategic Communications: H2O (StratComm) workshop last week in St. Louis, timely media coverage of the events trained a welcome spotlight on water infrastructure issues and the Association’s recent testimony in support of water infrastructure.
An article in The Hill reported, “At a conference [last week] in St. Louis, NACWA leaders [met] to discuss how to better communicate the value of water, all while attracting more public investments for the infrastructure delivering it. Without these solutions, combined with a social understanding and acceptance of the importance of water, prices will continue to rise while the delivery infrastructure continues to crumble.”
The article also quoted Association Board Member Andy Kricun’s Senate testimony to discuss affordability. “Municipalities are facing enormous pressure to set rates based on the often-growing percentages of low-income households in their service area — even if it means deferring investments,” Kricun testified. “A safety net for the lowest-income households would better position utilities to charge rates that fully reflect the true cost of service.”
Growing media coverage is a main objective of NACWA’s communications program, which is being built as a direct result of the 2016 communication’s audit commissioned by the NACWA Board. StratComm was an important step in expanding NACWA’s communications advocacy, and the Association will be continuing to advance communications issues as an emphasis of its advocacy agenda over the coming months.