Local organizations, utilities unite on new public Water Steward course

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Madison, WI – Four Madison-area water organizations and a local nonprofit have developed a brand-new Water Steward course and certification for the public. Spearheaded by the nonprofit Sustain Dane, this public water stewardship educational opportunity brings together experts from Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Madison Area Municipal Storm Water Partnership, the Madison Water Utility and the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department. It is the first time that local water utilities have collaborated on public education of this nature.

“We are delighted to be a partner in this innovative course that tells the story of water and how to be a good steward of our shared water resources,” says Michael Mucha, Chief Engineer and Director of Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. “Presenting the water system as a seamless cycle, with details from each point of human interaction, helps improve understanding of the One Water concept that all the water we have now is all we’ll ever have.”

The Water Steward course offers three hours of online instruction over two sessions. Held on June 14 and June 21, 2022, each 90-minute session provides in-depth education on the local water system: how it works and the human impact on water. Course participants will gain practical skills in water conservation, protection, restoration and advocacy for local water systems. A certification component is also available to participants completing a water-focused project in partnership with Sustain Dane. The Water Steward course is based on the organization’s award-winning Master Recyclers project model.

“This course is a fantastic opportunity for the public to learn a holistic view of our local water systems,” said Emily Jones, District pollution prevention specialist and curriculum contributor. “Rather than focusing on just one part of the water system, we’ve worked with partners in this course to reflect water connections throughout natural systems, drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.”

Tuition for the Water Steward course is $15, but full and partial scholarships are available. The public can learn more about the online sessions and enroll at https://sustaindane.org/eventbrite-event/water-steward.