Honor our most precious resource

National Drinking Water Week is an opportunity to educate people on the value of this resource.

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This week is National Drinking Water Week, and water utilities across the country are doing their part to educate their customers on the value of this resource and the need to treat it wisely. 

From Sunday, May 5, to Saturday, May 11, National Drinking Water Week celebrates all the hard work you put into operating and maintaining clean water systems for your communities. 

Many water utilities have prepared a week full of activities to educate the public on water system processes, conservation and a resource that often gets taken for granted. If your utility hasn’t organized any formal activities, it’s never too late to get on board. While utilities and municipal officials are reaching out in a variety ways, bringing awareness to ratepayers and the public about drinking water infrastructure is a universally critical initiative that you should be working on all year long. 

The American Water Works Association website lists several suggestions to reach out to the public and bring awareness to the issues your utilities face on a daily basis, and to provide some recognition for the people who make sure clean water is always available at your customers’ taps. 

“The week is important because it’s a fun way to learn about drinking water instead of just seeing information on your water bill,” says Lara Biggs, superintendent of construction and field services in Evanston, Ill. “It’s a way for people to touch the water system in a different way.” 

Evanston holds a coloring contest for third graders, photography and poetry contests for high school students, and a sunset canoe trip for college students. They are also hosting a film screening for adults, featuring “Liquid Assets,” a documentary about the critical role our water infrastructure plays in protecting public health and promoting economic prosperity. 

Regardless of whether you have any activities or programs scheduled for this week, think of it as an opportunity to begin taking a greater role in educating the public and making them true stakeholders of this resource. 

“One of the biggest problems with drinking water infrastructure is it’s completely hidden. Drinking water utilities take pride in the fact that they never have anything go wrong. And if nothing ever goes wrong, then people forget about you,” Biggs says. “Drinking Water Week is another way to raise awareness and just keep us in the minds of residents with a positive connotation.”


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