Regional Water Providers Consortium (RWPC)
Visit on the web: http://www.conserveh2o.org
A unique and invaluable component of Hillsboro's water conservation programming is participation in the RWPC. The RWPC was formed in 1996 by an Intergovernmental Agreement to coordinate the implementation of the Regional Water Supply Plan for the Portland Metropolitan Area. By working together, 22 member agencies maximize their marketing dollars and effectiveness. The CCC also provides a forum where conservation programs and new technologies can be discussed, and new partnerships are formed.
The RWPC's conservation objectives are:
- Plan and implement regional programs and events focused on reducing peak summer water use.
- Effectively encourage customers to visit and use the RWPC website www.conserveh2o.org.
- Integrate consistent conservation messages into the daily lives of customers.
- Develop and implement effective monitoring and reporting techniques to verify program effectiveness.
- Invite stakeholder participation in conservation program development.
- Seek economies of scale by facilitating the joint efforts of the region's water conservation professionals.
- Foster public awareness of the RWPC's collaborative efforts.
Each summer, the RWPC runs a major water conservation campaign on Portland area television and radio stations. Articles to promote water efficiency awareness run in regional print mediums including The Oregonian, NW Renovation Magazine, and various local papers such as The Argus.
Development of Outreach Materials
The RWPC staff, in collaboration with member agency staff, develops water conservation materials for the use of its member agencies and for RWPC specific events. Conservation kits have been a key outreach material used by Hillsboro and other RWPC members.. The RWPC and staff from member agencies have developed both indoor and outdoor conservation kits that are distributed to the public at a variety of events throughout the metro area. The kits contain water-saving devices that are appropriate for either indoor or outdoor use.
The RWPC conservation staff, along with staff from member agencies, tend informational booths at numerous community and regional events.
This year alone, RWPC staff promoted water conservation at 16 such events. It is estimated that, in 2010, contact was made at these events with about 41,000 people and 11,000 water conservation pieces were distributed.
The RWPC staff contracts with vendors to develop and present water conservation programs at elementary schools in the region. There are two programs, one for grades K-2 and one for grades 3-5. Each member agency is entitled to one free program per year at a school in its service area. The two shows offered by the RWPC rotate sponsorship year to year. Currently, Mad Science is touring and performing “What do you know about H2O?” for the upper grades. Next year, a puppet show for K-2nd grade will be teaching the water cycle and conservation to students. In addition, agencies can purchase additional presentations from either vendor at a fixed price negotiated by the RWPC. The School Program also includes a packet of conservation materials that is distributed to teachers.
Children’s Clean Water Festival
The Clean Water Festival hosts between 1300 and 1800 4th and 5th grade students from the Portland Metro area in an event that teaches about the environmental and scientific impacts we have on water and water has on us. Experts from Oregon and Washington volunteer to teach 25-minute classes on water science and watershed ecology. The RWPC and Hillsboro participate on the Festival’s organizing committee and each provides financial support for the Festival.
The RWPC website, www.conserveh2o.org, is a professionally-executed site devoted to conservation. This site's content was developed with feedback and input from the member agencies and RWPC staff. Among many other things, the site contains:
Property Manager Workshops
- MyH20 Water Savings Calculator: Has a user-friendly interface and data saving capability so visitors can calculate their own “water footprint.”
- Newsletter: Quarterly information about saving water around the home and RWPC–sponsored events.
- Weekly Watering Number: A number posted weekly on the website that informs customers how many inches of water they should apply to turf in different parts of the metropolitan area for that week.
- Interactive H2OUSE: Visitors are invited to navigate from room-to-room and into the garden to discover room-appropriate water conservation tips for indoors and outdoors.
RWPC and representatives from member agencies conduct two workshops per year for professionals who have a large impact on outdoor water use. This demographic includes: landscape and irrigation industry members, landscape architects and designers, homeowners’ association staffs, and other stakeholder organizations.