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Winner - Best Tasting Water in Wisconsin, 2013 WWA State Fair competition

Broadening Public Participation


Our updated Citizen Advisory Process was approved by the Common Council on Tuesday, April 8, 2014. Thank you to everyone who took the time to give their input!


Thank you to the 340+ customers who took the time to complete our Communication and Public Participation Survey. We have compiled the results and are developing an updated Public Participation Plan that is responsive to the feedback we received.



In 2014, Madison Water Utility will oversee a variety of construction and engineering projects totaling more than $26 million. We feel it's vital for the public to have a role in these projects -- to have access to information directly from our engineers and contractors, and to be involved from the very early planning stages all the way through completion.

Site of booster pump staion 106 reconstruction of Glenway St.














For several years, we have invited public input on everything from water supply initiatives to reservoir reconstruction through our project-specific Citizen Advisory Panels (CAPs). But often, only a handful of people join a CAP for a given project. We know we can do better.

Crews drill a new well on Madison's southeast side

There is more that can and should be done to highlight the importance of these major public works initiatives -- many of which affect thousands of Madisonians -- and encourage public input. To that end, we are revamping our public participation and CAP processes.

Our goal is to cast a wider net for CAP participation, bringing in citizens who may not be able to attend a large number of in-person meetings, such as those who work second or third shift or have small children.

By scheduling fewer meetings and working to create a continuous dialogue about projects via our website, we hope to transition to CAPs that are larger, more nimble and engaged, and include citizens from all socioeconomic and generational groups.

We will also reach out with more informative mailings to connect with citizens who cannot attend meetings and have no internet access.


Goals for a revised public participation process

  • Create larger, more diverse CAPs


  • Develop a more readable and user-friendly document than the current Public Participation Standard Operating Procedure


  • Provide a means for more effective and frequent communication between CAP members and the engineering team


  • Facilitate fewer and more focused CAP meetings centered on receiving citizen input, advice, and concerns


  • Manage the CAP process to schedule and budget


  • Extend the process to system-wide initiatives and policy changes (e.g. Project H2O, Connection Requirements, etc.)


creating a continuous dialogue

  • Redesigned project web pages featuring Q & A feedback between CAP members and the engineering team


  • More in-depth and visually appealing mailings featuring photo(s) of project site, artist renderings of the proposed facility, etc.


  • Signage posted at high-visibility project sites


  • Web pages updated with the latest project information, including design sketches and construction timetables and impacts


  • Use of social media sites to update and involve the general public in Water Utility projects, highlight project milestones, and address community concerns




Your feedback and ideas will be used to guide the development of a revised public participation process and framework to enhance outreach and engagement of our community, businesses, and residents.