WASHINGTON, D.C. — Value of Water Coalition announced the launch of a new campaign to inform Americans about the value of water and the challenges facing our water infrastructure. The coalition is made up of both public and private members of the water sector who have come together at a time when our water — and the infrastructure that is a fundamental part of our economy — is at great risk. Its aim is to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe and reliable water to and from every home and community, and to help ensure quality water service for future generations.
“We’re joining our colleagues and clients in this unprecedented fashion to call attention to one of the most critical issues facing the United States,” says Elisa Speranza, president of CH2M HILL’s Operations Management Business Group. “Unfortunately, the adage ‘out of sight, out of mind’ rings all too true in this case. However, our experience is that once people fully understand the extent of the challenge we all face and its potential impacts, they’ll be more likely to support solutions.”
“While a majority of Americans believes clean water is of vital importance to the nation, just 40 percent of Americans think the same of water infrastructure, showing the clear disconnect this campaign aims to fix,” said Eileen O’Neill, acting executive director of the Water Environment Federation. “Because much of our water system lies unseen underground, there is an awareness gap among the public that needs to be overcome in order to drive the support necessary to institute real and much-needed change.”
To bridge this gap, the Value of Water Campaign will leverage content-generation and social sharing. The website www.thevalueofwater.org serves as the campaign’s hub, aggregating the latest news and information on water-related issues. This information is then distributed through the Coalition’s Value of Water social channels. Also, new content and information about water and water infrastructure in our daily lives will be regularly distributed online through videos, infographics and slide decks.
“As the water sector continues to innovate and ensure its resiliency, so too are we looking to be innovative in the ways we communicate about how our work supports communities across the country,” says Ken Kirk, executive director of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. “The greater the understanding of our nation’s aging infrastructure and what is required to maintain it, the more we will value water as a precious resource and take actions to protect it for future generations .”
This effort marks the first time such a broad coalition of water businesses and nonprofit associations has come together as a single voice. The organization unites public and private interests to address the current state of water infrastructure and the need for significant investment to keep system performance at the levels of quality and safety Americans have come to expect.
“This unprecedented effort by such a diverse group of organizations representing the public and private sectors, drinking water and clean water, really highlights the importance of addressing the challenges facing the U.S.,” says David LaFrance, executive director of the American Water Works Association. “Water plays an invaluable role in our lives and businesses, but as the country continues to grow and develop, the continued delivery of drinking water and effective removal and treatment of wastewater are at risk.”
The new and evolving coalition represents city water utilities, non-profit water associations and water services and technology companies. They each work daily to ensure our homes and workplaces are supplied with clean and safe water for drinking and other uses, and that after its use, this same water is cleaned and made safe again before being discharged into the environment.
“Every individual, family and business across the United States depends on safe and reliable water service,” says Michael Deane, executive director of the National Association of Water Companies. “The current condition of our nation’s water infrastructure puts that service in jeopardy and inaction only allows it to worsen. Americans must understand that these are very real challenges, but they can and must be met.”
Members of the Value of Water Coalition include American Water, American Water Works Association, Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, CH2M HILL, MWH Global, National Association of Clean Water Agencies , National Association of Water Companies, United Water, U.S. Water Alliance, Veolia Water, Water Environment Federation and Xylem Inc.
The campaign went live Oct. 1 and can be found online at:
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheValueofWater
• Slideshare: www.slideshare.net/ValueofWater
• Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/99454892@N06/
• YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCq0jQjaUb6twPF7dfLt1_rw
• Google+: https://plus.google.com/b/111889055113274988349/111889055113274988349/about