Step 9: Develop Education Programs for All Age and Population Groups
A broad-based education program focused on all age groups is necessary to raise awareness of the new strategy for drought management, the importance of preparedness and risk reduction, short- and long-term water supply issues, and other crucial prerequisites for public acceptance and implementation of drought policy and preparedness goals. This education program will help ensure that people know how to manage drought when it occurs and that drought preparedness will not lose ground during nondrought years. It would be useful to tailor information to the needs of specific groups (e.g., elementary and secondary education, small business, industry, water managers, agricultural producers, homeowners, and utilities). The drought task force in each state or province and participating agencies should consider developing presentations and educational materials for events such as a water awareness week, community observations of Earth Day, and other events focused on environmental awareness; relevant trade shows; specialized workshops; and other gatherings that focus on natural resource stewardship or management.