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ACWA Presents Inaugural Communications Award to Sacramento's Department of Utilities

Public Utility Honored at Statewide Conference

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/05/12 -- The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) today presented its inaugural Best in Blue Award to the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities for its eight-month public outreach campaign, "Your Utilities, Your Voice."

The award was presented during the annual ACWA Fall Conference & Exhibition, where more than 1,600 local water officials are gathered through Friday for programs and panel discussions on a variety of key water issues. The Sacramento Department of Utilities was among four finalists to receive the award, which honors stellar communications and outreach programs developed and run by California water agencies.

"The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities' public outreach campaign is an outstanding example of a local agency engaging its community in a multi-faceted outreach and education campaign," ACWA President Randy Record said. "The 'Your Utilities, Your Voice' campaign effectively educated Sacramentans about the need for rate increases to fix and update aging infrastructure."

The "Your Utilities, Your Voice" campaign used grassroots, traditional and social media to overcome community concerns about raising rates in a down economy. The campaign was launched after a survey was conducted of more than 1,100 community members to gain insight into community perspectives.

The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities captured ACWA's first Best in Blue Award. The award will be presented each fall to a water agency that has developed and run a distinctive and effective community outreach campaign. This year, more than 20 water agencies submitted entries.

Other finalists for this year's award were:

  • The City of San Diego for its Water Purification Demonstration Project Public Outreach Program that allowed public tours of a demonstration facility where members of the public could see the water purification process for themselves.
  • The City of Santa Rosa Utilities for its "Take it from the Tap" outreach program that helped to brand tap water as the drink of choice in Santa Rosa through public "taste tests," videos, contests and after-school programs.
  • Western Municipal Water District for its outreach program "Warning Water Wasters: There's a New Rate Structure in Town" that educated customers about a new rate structure that encourages efficient use while penalizing water wasters with increasingly higher rates.

ACWA is a statewide association of public agencies whose 440 members are responsible for about 90% of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Lisa Lien-Mager
Director of Communications
530/902-3815 (cell)

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