Organized by the Value of Water Campaign, hundreds of organizations across the country will partake in events aimed at raising awareness about the crucial need for investment to ensure that no community in America is left without water and the infrastructure that brings it to and from homes and businesses.
Participants include elected officials, drinking water and wastewater providers, community leaders, business and labor groups, policy experts, advocacy organizations and infrastructure experts.
A day without water means no water comes out of your tap to brush your teeth. Firefighters have no water to put out fires, and farmers can’t water their crops.
While unimaginable for most of us, there are communities that have lived without water. From human-made tragedies in Flint, Michigan, to water scarcity issues in Central California, to wastewater runoff in the Great Lakes, water issues abound. Millions of Americans live in communities that never had the infrastructure to provide safe water service, relying on bottled water and septic systems each day.
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 these regional challenges will require locally-driven solutions, reinvestment in our water must be a national priority.
The good news is Americans are widely supportive of increased investment in nation’s water infrastructure. Above any other pressing political issue, Americans name rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure as the issue they most want our elected officials to address. An astonishing 82 percent of Americans said water infrastructure needed to be a top priority. Key Findings from National Public Opinion Poll (May 2017)
An economic study released by the Value of Water Campaign earlier this year found that a single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion of economic activity at risk. The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure Report
Unfortunately, investing in water infrastructure has not been a priority for decades. The federal government’s investment has declined precipitously, leaving states, localities, and water utilities to make up the difference. Which means it is on localities to raise taxes, or for utilities to charge water rates that can pay for the massive infrastructure system of pumps, plants, and pipes.
We must raise public awareness of this critical issue. Spread the word and checkout the Value of Water Campaign’s video.