On October 12, 2017, over 500 organizations and thousands of individuals nationwide will take part in Imagine a Day Without Water. It’s one of an increasing number of water-awareness events seeking to change perspectives about how we use water – and to promote direct action to better manage this crucial resource.
What makes Imagine a Day Without Water different from other initiatives is that it focuses attention less on natural waters and more on water and wastewater infrastructure. It emphasizes the need to develop the political will and economic capacity to invest in replacing aging equipment and outdated technologies.
The Value of Water Campaign, which has taken leadership in organizing the event, offers a blunt message:
“Most Americans take the water systems that bring clean water to and from their homes and businesses for granted. They turn on the tap and flush the toilet without thinking twice about where that water came from or where it will go.
“A day without water equals crisis. A day without water means no water comes out of your tap to brush your teeth; when you flush the toilet, nothing happens. Firefighters have no water to put out fires; farmers can’t water their crops. Doctors can’t wash their hands.
“The problems that face our drinking water and wastewater systems are multi-faceted. The infrastructure is aging and in need of investment, having gone underfunded for decades. Drought, flooding, and climate change stress water and wastewater systems. Although regional challenges will require locally-driven solutions, reinvestment in our water must be a national priority.”
The organizers welcome participants and suggest a number of easy ways for organizations and individuals to help support the event: Visit http://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/ for more information.
The Value of Water Campaign isn’t the only effort to work at a national level on water quality awareness and systemic transformation. The US Water Alliance advocates for what it calls a “one water” program:
“The one water approach views all water – drinking water, wastewater, stormwater, grey water, and more – as resources that must be managed holistically and sustainably. Doing so builds strong economies, vibrant communities, and healthy environments.”
The US Water Alliance calls itself “a gateway to connect with resources”; they publish a blog, fund research and print publications, offer awards for significant achievements in water quality, and host a variety of activities. Visit www.uswateralliance.org for more information.
Whether you are a municipal water operator, public works official, mayor, educator, scientist, or just a concerned citizen, making contact with these and other organizations can help you do your job and get the message across.
If you know of other worthy water-related organizations, have participated in prior years’ Imagine a Day Without Water events, or have action suggestions for GMWEA blog readers, please send us your comments! We’ll post them here.
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