USING SCIENCE & STORYTELLING TO SPUR WATERSHED ACTIONCategory: 2019, Current, Grant, Major Project, Water
Stories have power. Research suggests that audiences find stories and narratives easier to understand and more engaging than traditional logical-scientific communication. An assessment of water literacy conducted by the Alberta Water Council (2016) found that low water literacy is a risk that may result in a disengaged public (AWC, 2016). The Red Deer River watershed believes that part of the reason for this disengagement stems back to how they frame key water issues (i.e., values and messaging) and how they reach out to audiences in a fast-paced media environment.
Many of their partners, particularly rural municipalities, have expressed the need for clear, concise, information that helps them in their planning decisions and discussions with citizens. Moreover, before the Government of Alberta develops a Red Deer Regional Plan under the Land-use Framework, there is a need to build clear narratives to guide discussions related to formal planning. This project will help the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance develop these narratives and supporting communications tools, and build relationships on-the-ground with people who have stories to share.