A model of the change process required for sustainability, involves 3 conditions: (1) Awareness of the agenda, scale, urgency and structure of the issues, (2) Identifying effective roles for individuals or groups, where meaningful activities can be undertaken in parallel to raising awareness, (3) Association or cooperation with others to mobilize towards empowerment. Continue reading →
When encouraging or facilitating the activities of a watershed group, consider group purpose and needs. Distinguish whether the group wants to focus on educational and social benefits, the ability to influence policy, or create on-the-ground improvements.
How a watershed group is formed may influence its effectiveness.
- Citizen initiated groups give themselves a high rating on addressing difficult or controversial issues.
- Government initiated groups give themselves a high rating on receiving assistance during formation.
- Groups whose membership has been restricted in some way (e.g. property owners only, instead of all interested parties), give themselves a low rating on involving key decision-making groups, timeliness in addressing issues, and overall effectiveness.
Emphasize effective leadership when encouraging or facilitating watershed group formation. Watershed groups rate leadership as more important to effective group formation than support factors such as staff assistance or financial support.
Encourage water utilities to adopt a risk management strategy and to identify strategic risks, such as risks to a safe, acceptable, and reliable water supply. Risks for this category, for example, can include failure to meet requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act; inappropriate catchment management; and failure to plan for growth and changes in demand. [NOTE: Finding based on one case study.]