The Ebb and Flow

By Crystal Powers, Research and Extension Communications Specialist, DWFI/NWC/Extension

How do we foster actionable engagement with Nebraska’s water resources? By connecting with the issues Nebraskans care about! A national survey on How Americans Relate to Water found 9 in 10 people connect water to their health and food, and nearly 8 in 10 have a personal connection to a specific body of water. (The Water Main,

From this they crafted three groups to frame water discussions:

    Interests  Connections to water
Outdoor The Outdoor Recreation Enthusiast Fishing Boating Swimming

• Their favorite body of water 

• Science-related information 

• Their heritage 

Personal The Day-to-Day User Health Food Education

• Food 

• Drinking water and hygiene

• Job/career 

• Cost of living

Societal   The Social Impact Citizen Arts Science Culture 

• Environmental issues 

• Societal well-being (economy, human rights, foreign policy) 

• Spirituality 

These are valuable ways to help people understand how the topics you work with every day connect to their real life, so use them to frame the water science you would like to share. And next time you’re out with friends or family, ask about their favorite water spot, you might just find you share a common connection!