The Source Water Collaborative (SWC) is celebrating its ten-year anniversary with the launch of the new Learning Exchange—an information sharing platform for people and organizations working to protect sources of drinking water. The Learning Exchange aims to strengthen the effectiveness of source water practitioners across the country by providing a platform to share experiences, transfer knowledge, and learn about funding and technical resources available to support their efforts. Over the next five months (August –December 2016), the Learning Exchange will offer organized events, communications, and resources by theme. For this first month’s theme of Creative Partnerships, the SWC has posted a variety of resources and photos from its member organizations on its webpage; developed sample tweets for sharing information through social media, developed a document with tips for collaborating with nontraditional partners, and will conduct a webinar as follows.
Webinar on August 25th from 12-1pm (eastern): ASDWA will host the first Creative Partnerships webinar in the Learning Exchange webinar series. During the webinar, source water protection leaders will discuss their experiences with non-traditional partners and share tips on how to select potential partners and establish new partnerships; common barriers encountered and ways to overcome them; and sustaining and expanding partnerships for long-term engagement. Registration is free and open to anyone who would like to participate. Webinar presentations will include:
- Lynn Thorp from Clean Water Action, and Steve Via from American Water Works Association (AWWA), will share how they partnered with the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) to make sure EPA heard that the final Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards should not leave water systems to grapple with bromide when a Clean Water Act program could help them avoid Safe Drinking Water Act compliance problems caused by pollution discharges upstream.
- Jim Capurso with the U.S. Forest Service will share tips from the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, an effort that facilitates environmental conservation and restoration in municipal watersheds across the Northwest. This partnership includes multiple agencies: USDA Forest Service, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Washington Department of Health, the EPA, the Bureau of Land Management, the Geos Institute, and WildEarth Guardians.
Learning Exchange Webpage: Visit the SWC’s new webpage to find more tools and testimonials to help you get started finding the right partners. Learning Exchange resources and events are available to all interested groups, and you are encouraged to participate and contribute in ways that suit you and your organization’s interests. Opportunities will vary each month and may include:
- Stories of success that showcase projects and partnerships making a difference in communities across the country and how others may duplicate these successes.
- Knowledge sharing events such as webinars, brown bags, and virtual workshops.
- Shareable quotes, graphics, and tips to support your organization’s operations and outreach efforts.
- Technical and educational materials recommended to peers by Collaborative member organizations and Learning Exchange participants.
- Opportunities to converse with peers through online networking forums and social media.
The Source Water Collaborative offers a unique vehicle to bring together various perspectives and expertise that individuals and organizations may not be able to access on their own. Through the platforms of our national members and network of local collaboratives, we can offer a powerful venue for participants to connect with partners and build collective understanding.
Want to share your story on the Learning Exchange? Do you have a success story, valuable tip, or technical resource you would like to share? Reach out to email@example.com with your idea.