New Messaging for the Next Era in Water

Next Generation Communication

When the Colorado River District was established in 1937, its founders grappled with a straightforward issue: how to keep water flowing west. Though today’s core mission remains the same, Colorado’s skyrocketing population and plummeting water levels add major complexities to navigating and communicating a new generation of water challenges. As such, the River District’s External Affairs (EA) Team has drawn up a new set of messaging concepts to guide the organization’s outreach through 2022 and beyond.

Presenting to the newly appointed Information & Outreach Committee at the Board’s Special Joint Meeting in February, the EA Team shared key elements of a new Strategic Communications Plan. While the primary goal for River District outreach remains “to ensure water security for our constituents,” water struggles continue to grow east of the Divide and across the seven Colorado River Basin states – struggles which greatly impact West Slope water users. River District communications must therefore provide water education to those outside our borders, as well as continue to offer guidance and leadership for interstate negotiations on behalf of Colorado’s water across the Southwest.

We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

The doomsday parade on the news and social media leaves many in our communities fearful, frustrated, or numb to act. But our new generation of problems comes with a new generation of innovative solutions. The River District is proud to offer up our Community Funding Partnership as one model. Already making waves after just one year of funding, the unique grant program is helping to tackle big water issues with local, multi-benefit projects. As the voice of the River District, the EA Team will ensure this unique program reaches all corners of our West Slope boundaries and those who need it most.

Water users across and beyond our District lines will also see more messaging focused on the importance of the West Slope headwaters economy – connecting soil health to water security, water security to food security, and proactive conservation actions to keep our Colorado way-of-life thriving.

Click here to view the full Information & Outreach Committee presentation.

New Faces, New Places

As the EA Team implements new messaging strategies throughout the next year, we’re getting out to where these issues matter most – our River District communities. Spring 2022 will play host to 12 in-person State of the River events across our 15 counties. Each event will host special guests speaking to hydrology and river forecasts, listening sessions to better understand local needs and concerns, and ways to connect with neighbors, partners, projects, and new funding opportunities.

Click here to see dates for a State of the River event near you.

The River District has also already scheduled the Annual Water Seminar for 2022. Please save the date for Friday, September 16 at Colorado Mesa University! We look forward to seeing you there and at other events online and around our beautiful Western Slope.

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