By Carlos David Mogollón

Late summer reveries—Of airwaves, heatwaves and just waves
August is often relatively quiet as people head out for summer vacations. My wife and I recently took off for Baja California del Sur, Mexico, for an extended weekend getaway.

It was hot.

This was particularly true as we toured the southern peninsula and Los Cabos in a rented cut-off VW bug pitched to us as a “convertible.” It was also true as we kayaked around the beaches near La Paz where we stayed. Water doesn’t get much bluer than that.

From our hotel room tap (marked “potable”) and while snorkeling, though, we noticed a slightly cucumber-like flavor to the water. Even the portable filter I’d brought with me did little to clear up the problem. So, it was bottled water for us.

While visiting the Muséo de Antropología, I was also reminded of how much of our hemisphere’s usable salt comes from Baja, with an entire room dedicated to a display on solar salt production. A lot of that’s used in water softeners, I recalled from an interview with Cargill Salt executives a couple of years ago.

Back home, I had a chance to follow up with Carlyn Meyer about the success of the Water Quality Association’s inaugural Safe Drinking Water Week PR campaign with Oprah personal trainer Bob Greene, who co-authored the bestselling book Making the Connection with her, as its national spokesperson.

“We think it went very well,” Meyer said. “We had 43 TV stations and 20 radio stations do interviews and many of those in major markets: Washington, D.C., New York, Boston and Houston, plus Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati—places where we have a number of members doing a lot of business.”

She pointed out this was just the first year of the campaign and expanded local tie-ins are planned for next year and beyond. It’s also not just a once-a-year effort, but an ongoing one designed to more proactively position the industry for positive news coverage.

“We just got word that we got the Today Show for Aug. 24, so we’ll be represented there along with our members’ products. We may do some water testing for Katie (Couric) and Matt (Lauer). And we would publicize our website through that,” Meyer said.

She noted that a chapter of Bob and Oprah’s book focuses on the importance of hydration (and drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day) as one of 10 ways to improve your health: “So he’s talking about something he already believes in very much; plus he uses home water treatment products.”

We also welcome this month Ron Perez as WC&P’s new associate editor. He replaces Steve Delgado, who left to join his wife in a management recruitment business. You can read his final “Website of the Month” column on human resources in this issue.

Perez graduated in 1991 from the University of Arizona with a journalism/political science degree. He has worked as a research analyst and freelance writer and most recently was senior associate editor with Oser Communications, which publishes Arizona Gourmet, Best of Tucson and Networking Daily and Broadcasters Show Daily magazines.

Lastly, we extend a thank you to current WQA President Pat Dalee who attended the Arizona WQA’s summer conference on June 30. The event included a tour of Tucson Water’s headquarters, membrane filtration plant and groundwater recharge facilities. Among points Dalee discussed were emerging partnerships between water treatment utilities and dealerships because of stricter federal drinking water rules and the importance of better relations between the two.


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