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🗣️ "The Importance of Communications in the Water Industry"

Solving Water

Photo by Kane Reinholdtsen / Unsplash

Host: Amanda Holloway
Guest: Travis Loop | Director of Communications and Public Outreach | Water Environment Federation (WEF)
Category: 🗣️ Opinion

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[5:04] “[The Words on Water podcast has] been running for almost three and a half years now. […] There are so many interesting people, so many stories, so many issues and topics […] to explore and it can be tough to capture all that in blogs and press releases, […]. You can't dive as deep and explore issues. And so a podcast is a great way [and] impactful tool for WEF to have. […] We've had […] over 180 episodes at this point and it's been really successful. […] 20% of our audience is international. The thing that surprises me is there's been listeners from 147 countries. […] There's no shortage of people and projects to talk about and water. And so it's always something new.”

[10:06] “It's been a pretty hidden industry for so long. Water utilities and others have been shy, just being happy to kind of keep their heads down, do their job plow along. And that created a host of problems […]. It created maybe a decreased investment in water and a lack of awareness among the public as to what water services are. And so there's been a real resurgence of proactive communications. I think in water, people realize [that] we have to tell our story […] so that we can advocate for the funding and the policies that we want, and so that our community knows what we do every day on their behalf. So that's why [being in communication has] been so important.”

[12:27] “I do think that over the past, […] 5-10 years, there's been a lot of things that have happened in the news that are water related that has kind of caught the public's attention. […] The Flint drinking water crisis was probably the biggest. But then there's been a lot of other issues, […] like the chemical spill in Charleston, West Virginia […] and […] all these storms that are coming, […] the big hurricanes and extreme weather events and rising sea levels. And so you're starting to see that […] people are realizing that water is a critical issue.”

[16:20] “One topic […] I really love [is] the whole water reuse area. As we look at making our communities more sustainable, especially those that are suffering from, […] water scarcity, it just seems like water reuse is the future. […] One of my favorite spin offs of that is the Pure Water Brew. […] It's the idea […] if we want people to learn about water reuse, and accept it, or at least have a conversation, beer is a great way to do that. And so […] they started out by taking […] purified effluent, if you will, and the Oregon brewers made beer out of it. And then this has happened in California and Colorado and Arizona and Louisville and all around the country. And it's just a, it's amazing that people will go ahead and drink a beer that's made from sewage, before they'll drink a glass of water that comes out of one of those plants. […] But […] it's a great communications tool and great public awareness piece.”

[28:03] “[An] interview that [stood out was] talking to Dr. Bruce Rittmann, he's a professor at Arizona State University. And he's […] one of the world's leaders in microbial communities and […] the real science of what goes on in wastewater. […] And I was [asking]: What do we have to do […] to move forward in water? And he said: Communications. […]. I did not expect that from […] a leading scientist out there.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 38 min | 🗓️ 03/15/2021
✅ Time saved: 36 min

Additional Links:
Aquatech Article: Beers made from wastewater

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