Value of Water Coalition speaks on deteriorating water infrastructure
The Value of Water Coalition, a group of a dozen organizations seeking to ensure the safety and reliability of America’s water supply, is reaching out to government leaders and members of the public to educate them on the challenges facing water infrastructure today.
On Oct. 1, the coalition announced the launch of the information campaign. In a conference call, Eileen O’Neill, acting executive director of the Water Environment Federation, said that the average age of water infrastructure in cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington is 77 years. As pipes age, breakages and malfunctions become more frequent, and access to fresh water is threatened. However, most Americans are unaware a problem exists.
“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,” O’Neill said in a statement. “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.”
“Inaction is no longer an acceptable course,” Michael Deane, executive director of the National Association of Water Companies said. He added that to ensure the nation’s way of life in the future, immediate change must be made – specifically by reinvesting in America’s water infrastructure. Education is key to this effort.
“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," Ken Kirk, executive director of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, said in a statement.
The Value of Water Coalition is made up of Xylem, the Water Environment Federation, Veolia Water, Svez Environment, the U.S. Water Alliance, the National Association of Water Companies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, MWH Global, CH2MHill, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the American Water Works Association and American Water.
Anchored by their website, the campaign aims 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,” according to program materials. The website will aggregate news and information on water-related issues. This information will be distributed regularly though videos, infographics and Slideshare decks using social media channels such as Twitter, Google+ and Youtube.