By Sara Kangas
Each fall, the U.S. Water Alliance asks us to “Imagine a Day Without Water.” Tomorrow, October 12, is that time to reflect – how much do you value water?
When Americans go to brush their teeth, shower, or fill their coffee pot, they expect clean, safe water to flow from their taps. Water infrastructure is critical to growing healthy crops, ensuring the safety of our drinking water, and protecting coastal ecology, too. Did you know that just one day without water would cost the nation more than $43 billion in economic activity?
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) graded the U.S.’s water infrastructure a “D” in 2017, citing the nation’s aging and overburdened drinking water and wastewater infrastructure as particularly dangerous. The longer these improvements are delayed, the more costly fixes will be. ASCE estimated an additional $84 billion must be invested before 2020 to prevent against increased costs to households and businesses.
For decades, conservation districts have worked to protect drinking water at the source through extensive conservation practices and green infrastructure projects at the local level. District water technicians routinely provide technical assistance to landowners, identifying priority areas and best management practices to improve water quality and quantity.
But there’s still work to be done. What is needed now more than ever is a national strategy for the improvement and maintenance of state and federal water infrastructure, says the U.S. Water Alliance. Flooding, wildfire, and other natural disasters this summer have emphasized this need.
Join us in reflection tomorrow, October 12, on the many ways safe, reliable water infrastructure is essential to the health of our nation and its economy. We think you’ll agree, a day without water is simply unimaginable.
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