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Surveys show that we all want clean water and we’re willing to pay for it. But it’s all too easy for economic development pressures to be seen as a competing priority. Community leaders, teachers, youth, property owners, farmers, forest industry employees, water recreation businesses, and industries that use water, each make day-to-day-decisions that impact the environment. Cleaning up our water depends, in practice, on creating local understanding and partnerships that balance environmental and economic needs. But how do we create partnerships, if the public doesn’t understand how these priorities can, in fact, be balanced?
Community involvement has been identified as the key to effectiveness of clean and safe water plans. These national and local plans are designed to improve water quality in communities across the nation. The Water Outreach Education web site connects natural resource professionals with resources they can use to help groups and citizens improve their understanding and skills. In addition, the project has:
- Translated research into practical strategies.
- Provided electronic access to education materials.
- Identified education needs for specific water problems.
- Brought nationally recognized water educators together to develop a national plan for water education.