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Officials discuss launching water conservation marketing

A marketing campaign promoting water conservation could soon become a reality in Pahrump, as officials are ramping up efforts to encourage sensible water use.

With the fourth draft of the groundwater management plan for Basin 162 underway, members of the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee last week discussed the possibility of implementing a marketing campaign that would help to educate residents on water conservation and consumption.

“During the staff meeting, one of the comments and suggestions was to discuss marketing, water conservation and water education,” committee Chair Gregory Hafen said. “I don’t know if it’s something the committee is interested in (or) not interested in, but I thought it was an interesting conversation topic to bring up and see if it’s something that the committee would like to see done. A marketing firm could provide us with the most cost-effective way of going about it which may be a good idea, (or) may not be a good idea.”

The idea is in its preliminary stage, however if implemented, it would be part of the aggressive water education included in the plan. Some of the other education components outlined in the third draft of the document include education in schools, information brochures, articles in newspapers, local radio and TV spots and water bottles with commandments of water use.

“The GWMPC recommends that in order to inform residents of Basin 162 about current water issues, to promote conservation, and raise the general awareness level; water education must be a top priority,” Hafen said in an email.

The education section would most likely be funded through the Nye County Water District or the county, he added.

Officials have been working on the groundwater management plan for Basin 162 since early 2014, and held over 20 public meetings to give the public an opportunity to provide feedback and input into the process, said committee staff member Oz Wichman.

After officials revisit semantics, the fourth draft of the plan will be ready at the end of September, Wichman said. The document then will be discussed at a joint workshop between the Nye County Water District Governing Board and the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee. If later approved by the Nye County Water District and Nye County Commissioners, the plan will go to State Engineer Jason King, Wichman added.

“The concept of hiring a marketing firm to assist with education and public outreach is being considered,” he said.

Committee member Wendy Barnett said she would also support the idea.

“I think that if we want to have an aggressive water education plan that promotes conservation ethics and creates community pride in the responsible management of water resources, that we have to market it,” Barnett said. “And so, I’m not a marketing expert, I would have to hire that out, and I see it being valuable in creating that community pride that we are looking for. Be able to get everybody to participate in lowering the productive usage.”

Hafen said the committee will determine how a marketing campaign fits into the education section of the groundwater management plan for Basin 162 and bring back a proposal at the next meeting.

In neighboring Clark County, the Southern Nevada Water Authority launched its latest “Stay Water Smart” campaign this week, where they have been imposing water restriction since 2003.

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