Public Education, Participation & Outreach (PEPO)
CWCB & PEPO Workgroup Priorities for the Statewide Initiatives Fund
Public Education Outreach & Participation (PEPO) funding was recently expanded by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) to include a “Statewide Initiatives” category. In creating the Statewide Initiatives category, the Water Plan serves as the main driver of the priorities noted in the PEPO Grant Criteria and Guidelines. Because the Water Plan outlines broad priorities, the PEPO workgroup along with CWCB have together outlined funding priorities for the Statewide Initiatives fund to help spur applicant ideas and guide program development.
These outlined priorities and concepts tie into actions noted in the 2023 Water Plan and intent of the Statewide Initiatives funding – to create cross-basin education and outreach materials, analysis and discussions. Applicants who are interested in applying for the Statewide Initiatives category can submit grant proposals for other ideas that are not on this list and those will be equally considered based on the PEPO Grant Criteria and Guidelines. The following list is not exhaustive and is only meant to serve as a starting point for concepts that CWCB and PEPO have identified as being beneficial and in alignment with the intent of the Statewide Initiatives category. They can be referenced to the extent they are helpful in generating grant proposals.
Supported Statewide Initiatives Fund Concepts of Interest:
- Scoping the field of opportunities for a capacity-building educational hub
This could entail scoping to identify needs, resource mapping across the state, existing water certification programs, pros and cons of various approaches, most helpful training topics and platforms, bilingual options, gamification methods, target audience (higher education, journeymen training, and early professionals, etc), university and college buy-in, etc. A working group would need to be created as a part of this grant to help ensure Water Centers, PEPO, WEco and other partners are in coordination and can share in the Hub’s resources.
Related Water Plan Action: 4.1 – Create a capacity-building hub to provide accessible educational opportunities
- Scoping/Facilitation for Universal Roundtable Handbook
This could entail having basin roundtable conversations about the existing handbooks and/or resources, the most common needs of new roundtable members, most common misunderstandings, clarification on roundtable roles, duties, legal concerns (e.g. Colorado Open Meetings Laws), etc. This should involve a working group led by a facilitator, aligning feedback of what the universal roundtable handbook should/shouldn’t be and where flexibility is needed for each roundtable to tweak their own more specific handbooks.
Related Water Plan Action: 4.2 – Support the long-term stability and impact of the Basin Roundtables
- Cross-basin videos and/or story maps for roundtable websites
This could include identifying common needs for information sharing across roundtables to create short videos that help with common terms, concepts and projects that help with roundtable knowledge, community understanding and greater water literacy across the state (e.g. What does over-appropriation mean?)
- Support for translation of most-used PEPO education & outreach resources
There is a growing need for the translation of education & outreach materials across Colorado to best reach and reflect the communities of each basin. However, language translation is costly and time intensive. The translation of materials will help bring new and needed voices into important water conversations happening at the basin roundtable level and beyond.
- Develop shared PEPO Education & Outreach materials and collateral
This could take many forms that provide some consistency to roundtable outreach (and potentially some shared purchasing power). Modeling off of past cross-basin sharing of infographic materials (between the Arkansas and South Platte) or other outreach materials or tools could be developed in conjunction with CWCB to bring a consistent look and feel to PEPO materials – like the BIP (Volume 1). This could also result in water bottles or other outreach/tabling items that would help with branding.
- Scoping for Water Plan campaign messages that get traction
As part of the Water Plan action to develop a Water Plan branded campaign, a first step is to identify the top messages and phrasing that resonate with stakeholders and will drive action. To ensure that some of these messages can be tailored (as appropriate) to basin-specific issues– having basin focus groups, an initial analysis of past campaign messages, basin-specific issues and exploration of a set of larger messages is desired to understand before CWCB launches into the development of a larger marketing campaign. PEPO would be a key group to involve in these early conversations. The CWCB is ultimately looking to create a broad, Colorado Water Plan-branded outreach campaign and recognizes the first step is to work with key stakeholders and focus groups to develop and test messages and strategies that resonate, increase awareness and spur engagement on water issues in the different Basins and across the state.
Related Water Plan Action: 4.3 – Create a collaborative Colorado Water Plan education and outreach campaign