Are We Undervaluing Our Water Boards?
A lot of the talk we hear about water boards is about the turnover and the need for ongoing training. Yes, these facts are true; perhaps we can get further by embracing what they can be - a vital link between the water supply, local government and the average member of the community?
The town of Littleville, AL had a water board up until two years ago when a state agreement required it to disband. "Until the end, the Littleville water system was in good financial condition. But pipes have not been repaired on a regular basis and the system is losing up to 40 percent of the water it sells."
A water board as a specialized entity can serve as a powerful mechanism for making better, more informed decisions for a sustainable* future. A specific group focused on specific issues can be more efficient and focused that a village board, for example. The water system can also leverage board members to be their eyes and ears with the community and facilitate communication about the value of public water/sewer.
What would happen if we re-framed the conversation? What if we focused on shedding light on their value and empowering community members to step up and participate? We've linked to some helpful training materials to make the hard parts easier; the rest is up to you!