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Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Imagine a Day Without Water 2020
Imagine a Day Without Water 2020This year, our country faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. Throughout this emergency, water and wastewater systems kept the water flowing in homes, hospitals, and essential businesses. This crisis demonstrated the critical role that water and wastewater systems play in their communities, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, and making a healthy economy possible.

It is easy to imagine how much worse the pandemic would have been without widespread access to water infrastructure. Without reliable drinking water and sanitation, Americans would be unable to stay safe and limit the spread. In communities with inadequate water and wastewater infrastructure, the public health consequences have been dire.

On October 21, Columbus Water Works (CWW) will join other water professionals, elected officials, non-profit organizations and water providers across the nation to raise awareness about the importance of water by recognizing the sixth annual “Imagine a Day Without Water”. It’s a day to pause and notice the way that water systems impact our lives and communities, and commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come.

Can you “Imagine a Day without Water?”

The intricate system of facilities and pipes, mostly deep underground that move and treat our drinking water is often forgotten. But could you imagine a day without any water - a day without safe, reliable water and wastewater service? A day without water means no water comes out of your tap to brush your teeth. When you flush the toilet, nothing happens. It means firefighters have no water to put out fires, farmers couldn’t water their crops, and doctors couldn’t wash their hands before they treat patients.

Millions of Americans take water service for granted every day. Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away. Washing our hands regularly is one of the most important steps to take to limit the spread of coronavirus, and we usually don’t stop to think about the impressive infrastructure and treatment required to make sure the water comes out when you open the tap, or safely returns water to the environment from your sink. But the truth is, our water and wastewater systems are getting older -- some were installed a century ago -- and everyone should be concerned with the vulnerability of those systems.?

While we continue to enjoy high quality and reliable water service now, maintaining that level of service is going to be harder and harder as America’s water infrastructure continues to deteriorate. Meanwhile, new threats from record rainfalls, flooding, toxic algae, drought and wildfires threaten our critical water systems. There are even communities, especially in many rural places across the country, that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place.?

The water professionals at the Columbus Water Works recognize the vital role safe and reliable water plays in our community. We use a proactive process applied throughout our organization to address aging infrastructure, corrective and preventive maintenance, and replacement as well as future planning to accommodate the growing population’s water and wastewater needs. This Master Plan forecasts system needs for 25 years. It is updated every five (5) years, allowing for an accurate plan and funding allocation for current and future projects.

As we continue to look at ways to help lift our economy out of the recession, investing in water infrastructure is a winning solution. Investing in water creates cascading economic benefits, strengthening American competitiveness, raising GDP, creating jobs and increasing wages. Investing in water provides a path to economic recovery.

Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to become educated about our local water systems and raise awareness with our elected leaders. We need leadership at every level to work together to ensure a reliable water future for generations to come. Investing in water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.

Although no system is perfect, Columbus Water Works is dedicated to working hard to ensure that our community never has to experience a day without water.

For more information about the Value of Water Coalition and its effort to raise awareness regarding the importance of water and its infrastructure, visit http://thevalueofwater.org/.

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