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CASE STUDY:

California Department of Water Resources
Border Governors Conference Report
The Border Governors Conference is attended by governors and state agency representatives from 10 member states to address important border issues affecting the United States and Mexico.

Objective:

Create a bilingual (English and Spanish) report for the 2008 Border Governors Conference which is informative, visually rich and reader-friendly.

WDC Solution:

Climate change was one of the themes of this year's event hosted by Gov. Schwarzenegger. Development of a report supporting the theme would describe water sector impacts from climate change in a manner suitable for those with a technical background in the subject area as well as those with little or no technical background.

To make this information reader-friendly and less intimidating to a non-technical audience, the publication incorporated a highly visual approach: extensive use of dramatic water and drought landscape photographs, supergraphic typography headings and color zones for sidebar info and figures/charts. Use of pull-out text emphasizes essential points and enhanced understanding of content.

Challenge:

  • Aggressive Deadline: A short 5 weeks was the timeframe in which to design, layout, translate and prep for print, the 142-page English and Spanish report. In this time, 29 figures created by DWR Graphic Services, were converted by WDC to match the layout style. Content, captions, plus a total of 34 graphics & tables were translated into Spanish, a 3-week process (for the first round alone). Occurring concurrently, the English version was laid out and proofed by the client as the Spanish translation was received for layout. As the Spanish layout neared completion, English edits were received from the client and immediately sent out for translation.
  • Approval Process: The client was traveling during much of the process. Managing review and approval of proofs necessitated rigorous coordination of client travel schedule/availability, designer workflow and vendors, to hit crucial benchmark deadlines.
  • State Budget Delay: Even after files were turned over to the printer and proofs were signed off, one more obstacle arose. Due to the state budget impasse, the printer was ordered to immediately stop work. After several days on hold with a looming drop-dead deadline, the job was approved to proceed.

Results:

  • The report was distributed on time at the Border Governors’ Conference in Hollywood.
  • Additional distribution at DWR water industry conferences [Association of California Water Agencies, Colorado River Water Users Assoc.] and at Science Conferences [American Geophysical Union, American Meteorological Society].
  • University of Arizona, provided source information for the report requested several hundred for teaching and educational reference.
  • The report has been distributed by the Water Education Foundation and will be distributed at DWR’s upcoming Border Governors’ Water Work Table drought science conference, March 2009
  • Considered the first substantive bilingual technical publication for DWR, the report serves as a future model for similar future DWR bilingual reports
 
 

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