WATER’S WORTH IT

QUESTION & ANSWER

What’s WATER’S WORTH IT and what’s the purpose?

WATER’S WORTH IT is a new campaign from the Water Environment Federation (WEF) that answers the question about how our actions, attitudes, and the things we most value are so closely connected with water.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about the value and importance of water, water-related issues, and the work that water professionals do every day to provide these vital services.

Designed to be versatile and easy to use, the tagline, WATER’S WORTH IT, can be used on its own, in support of an existing program or brand, or coupled with a simple keyword to alter its impact and reach. For example, “My Effort. WATER’S WORTH IT” evokes a personal responsibility while “Your Effort” serves as a call to action and “Our Effort” represents a shared commitment to sustainable water management.

Easily customized to your needs, the campaign can help you reach any audience, in any location, about any issue.

Why did WEF create this campaign?

WEF understands that public awareness is an integral part of fulfilling our mission and staying true to our role as a leading technical and educational water quality organization.

As WEF continues to take the lead in addressing emerging water issues, we also must work to build the public’s understanding and support of water’s value and importance, which is essential to furthering WEF’s mission to support clean and safe water worldwide, and to the success of our members and the entire profession. It is our hope that WATER’S WORTH IT will help us do that.

Who owns WATER’S WORTH IT?

WEF is the creator and sponsor of WATER’S WORTH IT and will be responsible for the development and management of the campaign. Although WEF will take the lead, we know that we can’t carry this message alone. We need the help of everyone, from members of the water sector to the general public, to help us refine our messages, implement the campaign, and spread the word about water’s worth!

How is WATER’S WORTH IT different from other awareness campaigns?

The movement toward sustainability and “green” efforts over the last few years has resulted in a swarm of public outreach/educational campaigns and calls-to-action on many important issues. We sought to create a campaign that stands above the crowd and provides focus for our efforts. We believe we have achieved that with WATER’S WORTH IT.

The campaign is built around a direct approach that we feel will resonate well with all audiences. All of the messaging, visuals, and materials tie into very basic ideas about how water is inextricably tied to our quality of life and the importance of water stewardship. You need water, and water needs you. It’s that simple.

Will WATER’S WORTH IT replace existing WEF programs like Water is Life and Infrastructure Makes It Happen™ or Work for Water?

Although the campaign can be used on its own, it is not intended as a replacement, but rather as a platform to unify existing programs, brands, and activities. WEF programs like Water is Life and Infrastructure Makes It Happen, Work for Water, and others highlight specific issues, whereas WATER’S WORTH IT focuses on the overarching theme of the value and importance of water. When used in conjunction with an existing brand/program, WATER’S WORTH IT will act as a support mechanism.

How can I use it?

WEF has provided some general usage guidelines to protect the integrity of the campaign, but we encourage everyone who has a message to share about water to use the tagline and all related materials however you choose. This campaign has been designed to be as flexible as you need it to be. You can use it to complement an existing program, as the foundation for a new outreach campaign, or as a vehicle to raise awareness about an important issue in your community.

A key feature of the website is the Get Started page that features an online toolkit of customizable materials. The first set of materials and messaging is intended to help lay the foundation about the value and importance of water and we hope, to create a personal connection to this vital resource. We believe this increased awareness will in turn help the audience(s) and visitors to this website be more appreciative of water, receptive to a future call-to-action on a key water issue, or possibly, undergo a behavior change such as being more conservative about water usage.

In the future, we will develop materials around the core foundation areas (respect, effort, passion, health and future) as well as specific water quality issues such as infrastructure investment, stormwater, biosolids recycling, energy efficiency, and more.

We’re very excited about the potential of WATER’S WORTH IT and encourage you to think about how it can be applied with your community programs and outreach efforts.

Who can use the campaign?

Anyone who has a message to share about water is encouraged to use the campaign. Although the current website and materials appear to primarily help the water sector and partners in their efforts to share this message, we consciously designed it to appeal to anyone who wants to learn more about water and how they can make a difference. We truly believe that everyone can carry this message forward and wanted to provide a resource that can meet everyone’s needs from water professionals to teachers, school children, the media, and the general public. As we move forward, we will expand the resources available to the general public and other non-water sector audiences.

How is WATER’S WORTH IT different from EPA’s Water Is Worth It campaign?

Although both campaigns share a similar sounding slogan, it our understanding that EPA’s Water Is Worth It campaign is primarily used for social media as well as the theme of the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. In addition, EPA’s campaign will run from March 2012 through October 2012, whereas WATER’S WORTH IT is intended to be a long-running campaign that we hope will be around for many years to come!

WATER’S WORTH IT also emphasizes the “IT” which serves as a built-in call-to-action by helping to create a personal connection with water. For example, the word “IT” can be defined as an action (effort), an attitude (respect, passion), or something that we closely value (health, future). The WATER’S WORTH IT tagline can stand on its own, or be furthered defined with any number of appropriate action words.

Most importantly, WEF and EPA have a long history of working together on various projects. We see our campaigns as being complementary rather than at cross purposes so as we move forward, WEF will explore ways to partner with EPA to help further our shared message.

What are the current and future plans for the campaign?

WATER’S WORTH IT is designed to be a long-running campaign that will evolve as needed to meet the needs of the water sector and the general public. It will be rolled out in phases with March 22, 2012 marking the official launch of the U.S. campaign. As we gain momentum, we will consider expanding the campaign to Canada and other countries. In the meantime, WEF plans to regularly add enhancements and new resources to the campaign website. Stay tuned to www.WatersWorthIt.org for the latest developments.

You can be a voice for water.

WEF knows that you are vital to this effort and we encourage everyone to be a part of sharing the message about water’s worth. Be as good to water as water’s been to you. WATER’S WORTH IT.