The Scottsdale Water Citizen Academy, a multiweek program designed to give residents an inside look at all facets of Scottsdale Water, was recognized today as Public Education Program of the Year at the 32nd Annual WateReuse Symposium.
The Scottsdale Water Citizen Academy, which is open to Scottsdale residents and key stakeholders, is held twice a year and explains all aspects of Scottsdale Water operations, planning and policies. In addition to classroom-style presentations, participants get a first-hand look inside Scottsdale’s state-of-the-art facilities and watch demonstrations on daily operations from lab work to water main repair.
In a video clip about the Academy, participant Michael Jonas explains why the Academy is such an effective tool for enhancing citizen understanding of the importance of water.
“My favorite part of the academy was the actual hands on experience of visiting the various functions of not just purifying water, but the distribution, the recapture, the reuse – actually seeing that in person is much more impressive than reading about it or even watching a video about it.”
A key part of the Academy is the focus on Scottsdale’s water reuse efforts with a tour inside the Advanced Water Treatment facility, widely recognized as one of the world’s most innovative water purification projects.
“One of the most surprising things we learned this year in the Water Academy was when it comes to water reuse, you can take raw sewage in Scottsdale and in less than 24 hours you can have water that is the same quality as bottled water,” said Academy participant Kelli Kuester. “I think something like that would take days or even weeks and the fact that it happens day in day out every day in less than 24 hours. That’s an amazing and very impressive fact.”
Award applicants were judged on various components of the water reuse public education program including curriculum, classroom instruction, tours, onsite participation, peripheral materials and how the outreach enhances a better appreciation of water resources, management and conservation.
The fall 2017 Scottsdale Water Citizen Academy is currently full. To be added to a mailing list to be informed when registration opens in the spring, please email WaterAcademy@ScottsdaleAZ.gov.