Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Denver Water: Oh, Dry Up

Denver Water is relying on humor -- very dry humor -- to convince customers to conserve and "Use Only What You Need." And the campaign seems to be working. According to Denver Water, customers are on track with Tap+Smart, the utility’s program to reduce water use by at least 22 percent by 2016 from 2001. Last year, according to a July 10 release, water use in 2007 was 20 percent lower than 2001 use levels.

Still, the Tap+Smart name has a stupid flaw: The name is so confusing that Denver Water feels compelled to explain it on every release with this trickle-down explanation: "The plus sign is not pronounced. 'Tap Smart' is the correct pronunciation."

How smart is that? -- Patricia Calhoun

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun