Cobb Water System Wins STREAM Award for its Innovative Drought Response Program
(ATLANTA, Aug. 23, 2017) — The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District announced today that Cobb County Water System is the winner of the 2017 STREAM Award for Exemplary Drought Response Level 2.
The water system was recognized for developing an innovative, proactive drought response program that helped educate customers about the importance of conserving water during the 2016-17 drought. Their drought response program included:
- Developing a webpage that highlighted drought and outdoor water use information
- Posting alerts to community pages on Nextdoor, a social network for neighborhoods
- Creating the “Drought Busters” marketing campaign that included a logo modeled after the movie Ghostbusters, YouTube videos, and social media hashtags.
“The Cobb County Water System put together a really smart, engaging campaign that helped customers learn what they could do to help conserve water during drought,” said Metro Water District Chairman Charlotte Nash, who also serves as Chair of the Gwinnett County Commission. “The STREAM Awards were created to spotlight this kind of innovation and creativity.”
The STREAM Awards, which were created in 2016, honor projects completed by the Metro Water District’s member local governments, utilities and authorities that are sustainable, thoughtful, regional, engaging, applicable and measured.
“We’ve had a great response to our outreach program,” said Kathy Nguyen, Water Efficiency Manager at Cobb County Water System. “Customers are changing their habits and reducing water use – a shift that should last beyond this drought.”
Nine counties in metro Atlanta, including Cobb, remain in a Level 2 Drought Response, which is set by the state Environmental Protection Division. Lake Lanier, the region’s primary water source, is still over 5 feet low. But that’s an improvement from earlier in the year. In January, the lake was more than 10 feet low. Summer rain and conservation efforts have helped increase lake levels.
The Metro Water District, staffed by the Atlanta Regional Commission, has also been working to spread the word about the drought and the need to conserve.
The District attended festivals over the summer to talk to residents, ran public service announcements on billboards and in magazines, and launched the Society for Intentionally Dry Lawns, a community engagement program aimed at reducing outdoor water use.
Residents who join the Society by pledging to drastically reduce their outdoor watering receive a yard sign to let neighbors know how committed they are to conservation. Go to mydropcounts.org to join the Society and to learn tips for conserving water inside and outside the home.
About the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District (Metro Water District)
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District is dedicated to developing comprehensive regional and watershed-specific water resources plans to be implemented by local governments in the 15-county metro Atlanta region, which includes Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Henry, Paulding and Rockdale counties. These plans conserve public water supplies, protect water quality and recreational value of the waters and help minimize potential adverse impacts of development on waters in and downstream of the region.
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