Advanced technology resulting in more efficient, more reliable, easier-to-use equipment as well as new practices generally develops faster than consumers can keep pace. The law of business, or dollars and cents, means that manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and the entire supply chain need a receptive market to introduce new products. Water purveyors need standards to help them evaluate products and develop consumer programs to encourage water-wise practices and water-efficient product use.
It was very clear from the first time that the irrigation industry and water purveyors met that marketing was a key factor in product acceptance. And if marketing was a key factor, assessing existing attitudes would be vital to market transformation recommendations.
A qualitative marketing study was done in 2003 and the results and marketing recommendations were presented at the IA's International Irrigation Show held in San Diego, November 2003.
In 2004, the SWAT Technology Promotion Committee launched a major fundraising effort, networked to increase visibility and volunteers, developed working group guidelines, and managed the development of a consumer web site.
In 2006 and 2007, with a shortened name, the Promotion Working Group oversaw redeveloped web sites for the industry and homeowners/light commercial businesses, fundraising, the selection of a new SWAT product category, rain sensors, as well as driving attention to the published SWAT reports for climate-based controllers.
Karen Guz, San Antonio Water System, chairs the SWAT Promotion Working Group. The SWAT-Promo group welcomes interested volunteers at two different levels of involvement, Advisory or Working Group members. Both levels represent a variety of constituents across the irrigation industry and water purveyors.
If you don't have time, but you do have financial resources that can be tapped for a contribution, your company or organization can help the group achieve its ongoing objectives:
- Increase awareness of water efficiency-tested irrigation equipment and related management practices for water purveyors, manufacturers, distributors, contractors and consumers in the United States.
- Maintain a network to share up-to-date information and provide support for water purveyors and the landscape irrigation industry for the further development of methods that create and maintain water efficient landscape technology vital to sustain the quality of life in communities and the environment.
- Monitor irrigation and water conservation-related legislation and regulation relating to/affecting technology and provide input as appropriate.
- Work with associated interests to develop coalitions including, but not limited to, water purveyors, manufacturers, distributors, and contractors.
Keep the momentum going. Add your contribution today. For more information, contact the Irrigation Association (firstname.lastname@example.org; 703.536.7080).
To volunteer your participation in the SWAT Technology Promotion Group, e-mail the SWAT promotion chair.
SWAT Promotion (SWAT-Tromo) Working Group documents
SWAT Committee Guidelines (PDF 105KB)