American Water’s 125th Anniversary Education Campaign Helped Raise Public Awareness of the Value of Water

MarketWatch.com
Friday, January 27, 2012

VOORHEES, N.J., Jan 26, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — On the heels of its 125th Anniversary year, American Water is revealing the results of a year-long, nationwide campaign to educate and raise awareness about the value of water. The nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility, which traces its history to the early days of America’s water infrastructure, launched a variety of efforts in 2011 that used its milestone anniversary as a platform to promote water conservation and efficiency, and the importance of protecting this precious resource from source to tap. Through partnerships with non-profit organizations and the U.S. EPA’s WaterSense program, public service messages, online and social media tools, and student education efforts, the company reached hundreds of thousands of consumers with this vital message. It’s a message the company plans to reinforce in 2012.

“We’re very proud of the 125-year history of American Water, and equally proud of the dedication and expertise displayed daily by our employees,” said Maureen Duffy, Vice President of Corporate Communications and External Affairs for American Water. “We thought our 125th Anniversary was a good platform to help educate our customers and the general public about some very pressing issues facing the country today as we seek to preserve and protect the nation’s water supply and infrastructure.”

American Water’s 125th Anniversary customer education campaign included the following initiatives:

“Save Water Today” Campaign : Created in partnership with The Student Conservation Association (SCA), and the EPA’s WaterSense program, public service announcements used humor to effectively introduce water conservation messages — from the importance of checking for toilet leaks to shortening shower time — to help consumers save water and money. The announcements featured Saturday Night Live alums Rachel Dratch and Horatio Sanz, and Diane Neal (formerly of law & order:Special Victims Unit), along with teen national surfing champion Lakey Peterson, all of whom donated their time to help deliver a critical message. The PSAs aired from March through December 2011 on 84 stations in 25 markets nationwide, airing more than 12,000 times in total for free as part of the stations’ public service airtime requirements. In addition, the PSAs directed viewers to a dedicated Web site, www.SaveWaterToday.org , for more information and simple wise water use tips that consumers can use at home. By the end of 2011, the site reported approximately 20,000 page views.

America on Tap and Educational Web site: Launched a few days prior to April 20, 2011, American Water’s actual anniversary date, the America on Tap public education program promoted the environmental and economic benefits of drinking tap water from refillable bottles, rather than disposable bottles. Consumers were encouraged to take the America on Tap Pledge on the company’s anniversary Web site ( www.amwater125.com ), estimating the number of water bottles they consume over a week and pledging to drink tap water for a one-year period. The total pledges saved an estimated 106,730 disposable water bottles from landfills over the course of the year. The anniversary Web site also included wise water tips, an educators’ toolkit and curriculum guide on water for K-12 students, and other useful consumer education tools. By the end of the anniversary year, the site had accumulated nearly 400,000 page views.

Water Conservation and Protection Projects: American Water collaborated with the Student Conservation Association and other partners in support of an internship program focused on water conservation and protection in a number of states that the company serves. Working with American Water, the SCA engaged young adults in providing vital water conservation and resource protection services, while enhancing the youths’ skills and experiences as future environmental leaders. In addition, American Water awarded more than $155,000 in environmental grants to 35 community improvement projects in eight states within the company’s service area, through American Water’s Environmental Grant Program. These programs aim to help protect water at the source so that it is less costly to treat it before it gets to the tap.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs more than 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to approximately 15 million people in 30 states as well as parts of Canada. More information may be found by visiting www.amwater.com .

SOURCE: American Water