Next week the Athens-Clarke County Water Conservation Office will be presenting in our first WaterSense Partner webinar. Needless to say we are excited and nervous. The utility that is speaking before us is the Salt River Project. They are in Phoenix. Yes, Phoenix, Arizona! The Phoenix metro area has a population of 4.2 million people and it only rains about 8 inches a year. They are huge and they have almost no water. We, on the other hand, are tiny and we get a lot more rain. When it comes to conservation, they will be a tough act to follow. We will be talking about our social media efforts: facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram, this blog, etc. I assume the Salt River Project will be talking about their stuff, too.
The webinar is for WaterSense Partners and this one will focus on using sodial media to promote WaterSense. WaterSense is a program where the EPA tests water-using appliances, fixtures, and even whole homes, and puts the WaterSense logo on the best ones. When I say “best” I mean the ones that are very water efficient and still perform extraoridinarily well. This is what the logo looks like.
This is what it looks like when we promote the WaterSense label.
Spoiler Alert! Our last slide in the webinar takes a look into the future. What is next for us in Social Media? We have no idea! I heard a report on NPR a few weeks or months ago about “Vine”. That sounded like something we should do! Then, yesterday, our college-age intern told us that Vine has already run its course. But then I found this article from Athens, Ohio. A student at Ohio University racked up 850,000 Vine viewers and made it into their newspaper. Maybe once social media gets into the “mainstream” media, young people think it just died. If their mothers know about it, it must be lame! It is all very confusing.
One thing is certain, the future of social media lies in the cell phone. (I guess I should get one.) I found a great blog by Robert Osborne about water Apps. (I only know what an “App” is from cell-phone commercials and the used iPad Santa got my kids for Christmas.) In his blog, he updates an older blog about water apps. Apps are forever evolving, just like a successful social media presence. He shows us apps about weather, river flows, and other water related things.
What sort of app would we like to see? How about one that shows the drought status of our emergency water supply, the Bear Creek Reservoir? Or the water use at our Water Treatment Plant during a UGA football game? (I know you are curious if flows really increase during commercials.)
Maybe if we come up with a good idea we will develop an app! What do you think? Do you have any water app ideas? (Maybe by the time it is developed I will have a smart phone.)
-Marilyn Hall, ACC Water Conservation Coordinator