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Public Involvement

American Assembly Style Workshops

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The Water Department selected an American Assembly style process as a key component of the public involvement activities for the Water Reuse Study. Two American Assembly style workshops were conducted during the course of the Study timeframe. Participants were selected by the Mayor's and City Council offices. Additional participants were affiliated with local organizations with an interest in how water supplies affect the environment, business and community at large.

Over fifty years ago, President Dwight Eisenhower founded the American Assembly to illuminate issues of vital public interest. The American Assembly process brings together academicians, business people, government officials, the media, policy makers, community leaders, and other interested individuals. This "assembly" of stakeholders examines the aspects of public policy questions and moves toward consensus in making recommendations for action.

The American Assembly process includes development of white papers defining key issues, formulation of key policy questions, and a facilitated workshop (or series of workshops) to allow participants of varying views, experiences, and interests to come together for in-depth discussions. Discussions are usually conducted in break-out groups with reports of those discussions brought back to all the participants in a plenary session. The process concludes with the adoption of an Assembly Statement formalizing the views of the participants at the workshop.

Documents associated with the City of San Diego Assembly on Water Reuse have used the term "American Assembly" when referring to the participants, workshops and adopted statements. The American Assembly of Columbia University was not directly involved in the organization or administration of these activities.

American Assembly Workshop 2

The Water Reuse Study held its second American Assembly style workshop on July 11, 12 and 14, 2005, to review research materials that had been prepared on the various water reuse options covered in Study. Nearly all had also attended the first workshop in October. Participants learned about several strategies identified in the Study's Interim Report designed to maximize recycled water produced from both of the City's water reclamation plants. In their statement adopted at the end of the workshop, the group gave strong support for indirect potable reuse, a process that would use "advanced treated" or "purified" recycled water to supplement imported and runoff water supplies currently stored in the City's open reservoirs.

American Assembly Workshop II Statement, adopted July 14, 2005 (PDF)
Media Release on the American Assembly Workshop II, July 21, 2005 (PDF)
City of San Diego Water Reuse Study 2005 Interim Report, June 2005
Note: This Report was reviewed by participants at the City of San Diego Assembly on Water Reuse Workshop II (formerly called American Assembly Workshop II) and will be updated prior to submittal to City Council.

American Assembly Workshop 1

The first American Assembly workshop was held on October 6, 7 and 29, 2004, to gather public input on the Study. Sixty participants represented various community interest groups, organizations and neighborhoods from throughout the city. Attendees were selected by the mayor, City Council offices and organizations that have an interest in how water supplies affect the environment, business and the community at large. A follow-up workshop would be scheduled in 2005 for the Assembly participants to review a Draft Interim Report on the Study.

American Assembly Workshop I Statement, adopted on October 29, 2004 (PDF)
American Assembly Workshop I White Paper, utilized by participants (PDF)
Media Release on American Assembly Workshop I, November 15, 2004 (PDF)