This year, our country faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. 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.
On October 21, the Value of Water Campaign encourages everyone to Imagine a Day Without Water. It is 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.
- Turn on the tap, and clean water flows out. Flush the toilet, and dirty water goes away.
- With a little soap and water, and two rounds of the happy birthday song, and viruses are annihilated.
- When you have reliable water service, you don’t have to think twice about the infrastructure that brings water to your home or business, and then safely returns water to the environment – but we all should.
- The reality is America’s water infrastructure is deteriorating as it gets older — and there are even communities around the country that have never had access to infrastructure in the first place.
- On Imagine a Day Without Water, we ask everyone to consider what their day would be like if they 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?
A day without water is a public health and safety crisis.
- A day without water means firefighters can’t do their jobs, hospitals would be unsanitary, and no one could wash dirty dishes or clothes.
- Living without water is an economic crisis too: a single nationwide day without water service would put our entire economy at risk.
- Without water, we would be unable to take necessary precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus. In communities with inadequate access to water and wastewater infrastructure, the public health consequences have been dire.
Water infrastructure investment provides a path to economic recovery.
- Water infrastructure is aging and in need of repair or replacement. Many systems were built over a century ago.
- As water systems age, disruptions will become more common. Pipe breaks have increased by 27% between 2012 and 2018 are expected to increase by 600% in 20 years if we don’t increase investment in our systems. Water service disruptions are costly to utilities, customers, businesses, and the economy in general.
- Without investment, water and wastewater systems will continue to deteriorate, leading to serious consequences for public health and the economy. If we continue on the current path, by 2039, we will have accrued a cumulative capital investment gap of $2.2 trillion, and a $3.9 trillion decline in gross domestic product due to negative impacts to other industries, depressed wages, and lost jobs.
- Investing in water creates cascading economic benefits, strengthening American competitiveness, raising GDP, creating jobs and increasing wages. Even if we just covered one-half of our capital investment needs, we would create over 700,000 jobs, raise wages by $2 trillion, and increase GDP by $3.5 trillion above baseline projections.
- As we face the largest economic depression in a generation, investing in water provides a path to economic recovery.
Strong leadership on water is key to securing our future.
- Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity to share why water is important to you, your business, your community.
- We can speak out together, with one voice, and ask public officials at every level of government to invest in water as a way to protect public health and recover from the economic recession.
- Investing in water now will help us out of the economic crisis we are in and make us more resilient for the next crises to come.
- Investing in our water is investing in a future where no American will have to imagine a day without water.