Training and Education
Expanding Communication in Communities Addressing Wastewater Needs
Publication Date: June 2005
Cooperating Institution: Green Mountain Institute for Environmental Democracy
Principal Investigator: Kenneth Jones
Project Budget: $149,003
Project Identifier: WU-HT-03-34
The Green Mountain Institute for Environmental Democracy in partnership with the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics and the Rocky Mountain Institute propose to develop products that will improve the participation of community members in making wastewater decisions. These products include: (1) Fact sheets that describe the impacts of wastewater on health, environment and the economy; (2) A rapid assessment process to gather local information for the purpose of roughly characterizing current wastewater conditions; (3) Scenarios that will promote discussion and build a better understanding of local wastewater issues; (4) A starter's kit including specific steps to initiate a process for solving community wastewater needs; (5) A process guide to assist service providers in utilizing the tools for any target community. In order to develop these products, the project team will pilot them in at least two Vermont communities and seek at least one additional community outside of New England. These communities are early in the process of understanding their wastewater needs and will therefore be good testing grounds to determine how a collection of tools will promote discussion and understanding about wastewater and wastewater management. After the field tests, we will meet with several service providers to review the products and their pilot applications. The result of this meeting will be to refine the products and identify candidate locations for final testing. The final step in the project is for one or more service providers to test the products in communities where they serve. The result will be some refined tools and a stronger network of practitioners that can work with communities around the country to build local understanding of wastewater issues and the role of decentralized solutions in improving local water quality conditions.