The Fire Chief Project: How can you get more ‘mileage’ from a plant tour?

Follow the lead of St. George, Utah, and hold it during a special week’s observance

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One of the best ways to get your community’s attention is to piggyback a local event on a milestone of wider significance.

As reported by its hometown newspaper, The Spectrum, the Utah city of St. George held a tour of its water treatment plants, along with other community events, during Water Week, May 5-9.

Then-governor Jon Huntsman Jr. proclaimed the first Water Week in 2007. This time, amid a severe drought, water managers in the state’s southwest region hoped a week of water-focused events would encourage residents to conserve, according to the newspaper.

Water Week in St. George began on Monday with workshops, tours and other activities hosted by the Washington County Water Conservancy District and St. George. A Garden Fair included interactive displays and educational booths. Then St. George Mayor Jon Pike led a two-mile Water Walk,” symbolizing “the distance people in water-stressed communities have to walk daily for water,” the news report stated.

Later in the week, residents could tour the city’s two water plants, and kids took part in a book reading and an educational fair at Dixie State University.

“Since Gov. Huntsman Jr. declared the first Water Week in 2007, state leaders have used the occasion to get the public involved, and educated, with the goal of cutting water per-capita usage statewide by 25 percent by 2025,” the newspaper said.

“Julie Breckenridge, conservation manager for the WCWCD, said the family-friendly events help engage the whole community, hopefully building on some of the conservation steps residents have taken in recent years.”


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