Kings River Conservation District Wins ACWA’s 2019 Best in Blue Award

Dec 4 – Former ACWA President Brent Hastey (far left) and current ACWA President Steven LaMar (far right) present the 2019 Huell Howser Best in Blue award to Kings River Conservation District (KRCD) External Affairs Director Cristel Tufenkjian (center left) and Public Affairs Associate Rebecca Quist (center right). The award honors outstanding outreach and communications efforts of California water agencies.

December 2019

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented its Huell Howser Best in Blue Award to Kings River Conservation District for three highly successful Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Proposition 218 Election campaigns. Ultimately, the campaigns point back to a guiding principal at KRCD: securing resources for the Kings River region. KRCD is honored to be recognized for its efforts to support local Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) implementation.

KRCD conducted outreach campaigns to secure SGMA implementation funding via Proposition 218 Elections in McMullin Area, North Fork Kings, and South Fork Kings GSAs. Common messaging and tools developed in English and Spanish were used to educate landowners on SGMA, newly-formed GSAs, and a Prop 218 Assessment. KRCD used hyper-localized channels to reach its target audience of growers and rural community residents including mailers, meetings, workshops, emails, webpages, and a direct phone line. Collaboration with local nonprofits provided support to reach and educate residents of disadvantaged communities.

The campaign secured 5-Year budgets for the three GSAs while increasing transparency between the agencies and their landowners.

The award honoring exceptional communications and outreach programs developed and run by California water agencies was presented during the 2019 ACWA Fall Conference and Exhibition in San Diego on December 4, where water professionals are gathered for programs and panels on California’s critical water issues.