Educating Urban Water Users on Agricultural Water Needs

Brian GermanAgri-Business, Water

The California Farm Water Coalition (CFWC) continues its effort to better educate urban water users about the issues the agricultural industry is working to overcome.  The coalition has been shifting its focus to deliver information to a more select group of consumers in order to have the most beneficial impact.

urban water users“The whole social media, data gathering world that we live in, is a great convenience for marketers,” said CFWC Executive Director Mike Wade.  “We’re using data that is collected on consumers in order to identify consumers that are most likely to be receptive to messaging about agriculture and agricultural water use.” 

In the beginning, CFWC primarily used banners and billboards along major highways and thoroughfares as a foundation of its outreach approach.  The coalition added radio messages as well as print materials to further communicate with the public.  Recently, as data collection has become more advanced, CFWC has been afforded the opportunity to refocus on the most effective use of resources in educating consumers.

“It’s helping us find a specific segment of the population in order to share our message,” Wade noted.  “It’s not that we’re not interested in the entire population.  We don’t have a Coca Cola budget where we can reach the entire population, so we’re using what we can to reach the folks that have the most likelihood of resonating with our message.”

The coalition was initially formed to provide fact-based information about farm water issues to the general public.  As a non-profit educational organization, CFWC remains committed to its mission to help urban water users understand the connection between farm water and the food supply.  “I would like to believe that there is a better understanding today because of the 30 years that we’ve spent on this effort, but there are always new consumers and new people in the state that don’t understand agriculture and our mission is to help them get it,” said Wade.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West