Happy World Water Day, yall.
This is the day that we stop and consider the fact that we are very lucky. We have some of the safest water in the world and don’t have to trek miles from our homes just to find water to cook with and to drink. That’s not the case for billions of people around the world.
So to mark World Water Day, I’ve got a 2 part blog. Part 1 is something we as a country can do to help conserve and protect our drinking water. And it will instantly create new jobs today, immediately improve the health of communicates across the country, and benefit the environment. We need to bring our aging drinking water infrastructure up-to-date.
Stories about breaks in 70-year-old water mains and steam explosions from broken water pipes are a sampling of the serious problems we will face as our drinking water infrastructure begins to reach the end of its lifespan. But until these problems arise, the state of that complicated network of pipes, mains, storage tanks, and treatment systems supplying water to our communities remains “out of sight, out of mind.”
We lose an estimated 7 billion gallons of water a day from leaking pipes, with some cities losing as much as 30% of their water. At the same time, an often overlooked consequence of these cracks is that we are being exposed to an increasing number of waterborne diseases and contaminants sneaking in through those gaps. This means utilities face a double whammy as they try to provide both adequate and safe drinking water to their customers.
Upgrading our infrastructure would save trillions of gallons of water a year and make our water safer to drink.
But the best part is that, according to the American Water Works Association, there are already enough shovel-ready drinking water projects around the U.S. that would create work for more than 400,000 Americans, including almost 90,000 direct construction jobs – jobs that would be welcomed with open arms in towns and cities all across the U.S. In any other context, this would be a no-brainer.
The U.S. has some of the safest water in the world, but it will take some TLC to keep it that way.
Part 2 is about something we can do as individuals.