National Water Quality Month is dedicated to making the most of the finite fresh water resources around us. Having clean water is vital to our individual health, collective agricultural needs, and the needs of our environment.
As children, we are taught the importance of water. We’re told to turn the faucet off while brushing our teeth in order to conserve the use of it. That we need to keep our oceans, lakes and rivers free from litter. The environment depends on it, and all animals, plants and humans need it to survive – this is why we celebrate National Water Quality Month. Our team is committed to playing our part by assisting various organizations and agencies across New England to provide cost-conscious communication techniques and grant funding research options for safe drinking water. We also offer a full variety of grant writing and technical assistance services customized to the needs of our clients.
We’re proud to work with water/wastewater experts who understand the growing demand for clean water. They realize the increasing challenges that utility companies and municipalities are presented with. Our staff helps water providers create well-crafted verbal, written, and visual components of an effective public outreach effort to address water quality issues including risk communications strategies for emerging contaminants. Our Grant Writing & Management team will also craft compelling applications to identify ways to scale effective programs, which can help water providers obtain grant funding to assist with infrastructure improvements.
“Nichol is definitely a public outreach specialist! I am glad to have her and the CSS team assisting us. Operating Easton’s water quality hotline has been a great support, freeing up our focus on the removal of PFAS6 from Easton’s drinking water as well as regular day-to-day activities.” said Richard Tierney Jr., Water Operations Manager at the Easton Water Division.
“Having worked in municipal government, with a background in public works and utilities, our team understands the support that public water suppliers need when a challenging situation arises,” said Nichol Figueiredo, CEO of Capital Strategic Solutions.“We are always happy to help and glad to be of assistance.”
The flow of information through a community is much like the flow of water through the environment. The quality of outgoing communications during a contamination event will directly influence a community’s action or lack thereof. Insufficient, inconsistent, or poorly crafted communications strategies can heighten feelings of stress and undermine trust with the public. By communicating clearly and concisely, water providers can rally support, calm constituents, and provide the information needed for their customers to make solid decisions that may impact their health.
We understand that there are a variety of ways to inform the public about environmental problems that affect water quality, and such communication has the potential to improve the environmental literacy of the public and to increase support for regulations that address these types of issues. Central to that effort is our commitment to work collaboratively with our clients, their respective dedicated utilities, and various stakeholders to elevate clean water, clean water services, and the infrastructure that supports it as essential to keeping their communities safe and thriving.
When a public drinking water source has been infiltrated by a contaminant, it is the responsibility of the water provider to give timely and accurate information both internally and externally to the public. Upon confirmation of a water quality issue, the appropriate notification must be issued such as a,“boil water, do not drink or consume” order. If carefully designed, a communications plan can save precious time when an emergency occurs and helps enable leaders and spokespersons to focus on particulars of the emergency at hand and the quality, accuracy, and speed of their responses.
Our team is working with a number of communities that have exceeded the current maximum contamination level for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), total trihalomethanes (TTHM), haloacetic acids (HAA), as well as other impacts on water quality. We are assisting these communities in operating water quality hotlines, as well as conveying simplified messaging to allow stakeholders to understand the risks and the potential hazards. We engage in open dialogue with residents that allows them to have a better understanding of the potential level of their exposure, and the concentrated effort that is underway by Federal, State, and local agencies to protect the health and safety of the general public. By engaging in an informative conversation with the public, these community members not only walk away with the information they need to make informed decisions about their and their family’s health, they also gain a deeper understanding of their water supply community which makes it easier to tackle an issue as complicated as drinking water quality.
Risk Communications & Public Engagement Plans
CSS offers the support that is needed, when it is needed by professional that have the experience to take on critical tasks, including:
Website Development and Content Management
Operation of Water Quality Hotlines
Creating Community Presentations, Videos, Fact Sheets & Newsletters
Providing Time-Sensitive Updates through Email Blasts
Social Media Management
Assisting with Grant Funding Opportunities
CSS offers public water suppliers a wide range of services to help manage and administer grant funds and projects including: assistance in applying for and managing project approval through ARPA, EPA and DEP, assistance with reimbursement requests and general administrative assistance for all aspects of the projects.
Research funding opportunities
Verify eligibility requirements to ensure compliance and gather all applicable data, financial records, etc..
Assemble grant application, develop a compelling grant narrative
Submitting the proposal
Grant award management, ensuring compliance with grant award instructions
Collection of grant-related materials including receipts, reports, etc.
Grant closeout process
General administrative assistance
Capital Strategic Solutions is a Massachusetts-based, woman-owned business enterprise (WBE) that is composed of former municipal employees. Since 2014, CSS has been partnering with communities and consultants throughout New England to enhance community engagement by building trust through transparency. Our team is committed to providing equitable resources to communities to maintain and increase community services that benefit residents, businesses, and visitors of each client’s community.
Our team specializes in community engagement, grant writing & management, impact mitigation & crisis communication, project management and oversight, solutions for data management, website design services, tactical social media outreach, and virtual and in-person event planning. Our team works diligently with our clients to define clear project goals while resolving complex challenges. We understand that varying degrees of resources and dedicated public information staff can make it difficult to engage with consumers and target audiences, so we are here to assist in your efforts to communicate about the value and importance of water.
Trust and transparency are just as critical as the quality of water and the consistency of their service to a public water supplier. Successfully communicate with the public you serve! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 508-690-0046 to schedule a meeting.