Data Instincts Celebrates 25 years of Public Outreach Success with Recycled Water Projects Throughout the West

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For Immediate Release
July 12, 2023
Contact: Barry Dugan, Data Instincts
(707) 849-9858


Windsor, CA – Data Instincts, a Sonoma County public outreach firm that specializes in public outreach for implementing recycled water projects, is celebrating 25 years at the forefront of the recycled water industry in California and throughout the West.

Since it got its start with the City of Santa Rosa’s Geysers Recharge Project in 1998, the Windsor-based firm has coordinated public outreach for more than $2 billion worth of recycled water projects, from purple pipe to potable reuse. During the past 25 years, the firm has worked on a variety of recycled water projects in California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada, including purple pipe projects for agricultural and landscape irrigation, potable reuse and advanced purified recycled water.

Mark Millan, the founder and principal of Data Instincts, is a recognized leader in public outreach and communications in the recycled water industry, and has participated in numerous research projects to assist public agencies in shaping effective public outreach programs. “In the beginning we never imagined how critical recycled water would become in augmenting water supplies,” said Mr. Millan. “With the advent of advanced purified recycled water, we now see its importance in providing additional water supply, here in the United States and around the world.”

Data Instincts provides clients with a full range of public outreach and community engagement services, including brand development, communications toolkits, collateral materials, website development, logos, infographics, and videos.

“The Data Instincts team has been instrumental in helping our district create effective public outreach tools, which support key projects, and have led to implementation,” said Melanie Mow Schumacher, Assistant General Manager of the Soquel Creek Water District. The district is currently constructing an advanced purified water project to augment its groundwater supplies and prevent seawater intrusion at its coastal wells. “Mark’s experience in the recycled water sector and his expert guidance have been invaluable. His team not only understands how important community engagement is, but they have mastered the art of communicating technical information into easy-to-understand concepts.  Mark helps community leaders develop relationships with their citizens and customers so they understand a project’s importance and the benefits.”

Mr. Millan is a frequent presenter at national and international water reuse conferences, has authored numerous papers, and participated in many research projects on water-related communications. Mark co-authored the Water Research Foundation’s Development of Public Communication Toolkit for Desalination Projects (WRF12-02) and Developing Model Communication Plans for Advancing Awareness and Fostering Acceptance of Potable Reuse (WRF 13-02), and was a contributing writer to the World Health Organization’s Guidelines for Potable Reuse published in 2017. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for WateReuse California and is a member of the Executive Committee. In addition, Mark is an active participant on the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) for EPA’s study entitled, Unlocking the Nationwide Potential of Water Reuse.


Data Instincts is a professional consultancy dealing with Public Information and Public Involvement serving municipalities, counties, public agencies and engineering firms with public outreach efforts. Data Instincts has been involved with public outreach and education for recycled water projects throughout California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada including work with the Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District, Monterey One Water, North Bay Water Reuse Authority, OneWater Nevada, Pure Water Soquel, Russian River Water Forum, SFPUC, City of Santa Rosa, Sonoma Water, Town of Windsor, and Valley Water. More information can be found at