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. With reliable water service, people don’t have to think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to their homes, and then safely returns water to the environment – but everyone should be concerned with the fragility of those systems.
On Imagine a Day Without Water, take a moment to think about what your day would be like if you couldn’t turn on the tap and get clean drinking water, or if you flushed the toilet and wastewater didn’t go anywhere. What would that day be like? What would firefighters do? Could hospitals be sanitary without clean tap water, or without wastewater service? Would restaurants and hotels be able to serve guests? Would manufacturing plants that require vast amounts of clean water, such as pipe or gasket manufacturers, shut down?
It is often for granted that we don’t have to ask those questions every day, but America’s water infrastructure is aging and failing. Stories of communities with neglected infrastructure and compromised drinking water bubble up regularly. Record rainfalls in the Midwest this spring flooded the Mississippi River with pollution, and this summer toxic algae bloomed in the Great Lakes – a critical source of drinking water for millions of Americans. In other parts of the country, drought and wildfires threaten critical water supplies for communities and farmers. There are even communities, especially in many rural places across the country, that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place. Americans can’t take their water infrastructure for granted.
Water infrastructure is the lifeline of our community. Our water infrastructure supports every facet of our daily lives, but our water infrastructure is facing challenges.
At home, The Birmingham Water Works Board (BWWB) is the largest water utility in the state serving more than 600,000 people in Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, St. Clair and Walker Counties. Birmingham Water Works remains one of the top water producers every year, and its water is ranked as some of the best in the nation. But maintaining infrastructure and equipment such as facilities, water meters, fire hydrants, water mains, and tanks, to ensure the integrity of the water system in our region is a commitment that demands ongoing attention.
Water challenges look different to different communities and will require local solutions, but reinvestment in water systems should be a national priority. Strong leadership on water is key to securing America’s future. On October 23rd, Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity for everyone to get educated about water systems, their challenges and to be informed about what organizations are trying to do to solve our big water problems. It is also a day for us to raise awareness with our elected leaders and say, with one voice, that these are big problems that won’t be solved in a silo. We need leadership at every level if we want to secure a better future for the millions of Americans who don’t have reliable water service today and 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.
Please join Specification Rubber Products in spreading awareness. Tell us what a day without water would mean for you or share an experience!