In the midst of a pandemic, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order giving the water industry an opportunity to unite together. It asks us to address aging water infrastructure, water supply reliability, improve water quality, and sets up a framework and structure for the federal government to collaborate and reduce duplication of effort. At Master Meter, Inc. we will stand behind initiatives encouraging pandemic collaboration among existing agencies to create more efficient and effective actions.
The water and wastewater industry displayed its knack for resiliency throughout the pandemic. As essential workers, our operators, field crews, customer service representatives, engineers, leaders, and everyone who supports this vital industry dug deep to continue producing clean drinking water and protecting the environment by treating our wastewater. Despite the same constraints everyone else is facing — working from home, working with limited resources, limited staff, reduced revenue — we came together. The water industry showed up for our communities.
Does this really come as a surprise? For the past 100 years, water professionals have extended the life of our infrastructure beyond its boundaries. But as many of us know, it’s time to face challenges head-on. The silver tsunami and aging infrastructure are addressed at every conference, on podcasts, and on webinars, but this is just the tip of the iceberg on challenges. The industry needs to become the next generation of water utilities by embracing new technologies, like advanced meter infrastructure (AMI), meter data management (MDM) software, and customer portals. As we’ve said before, these tools and the next innovations are critical to becoming utilities of the future.
For years, the industry has been trying to bring awareness to this vital resource, and last week, the President gave us the extra jolt our industry needed with this executive order. No one group can or should tackle these issues alone. Pandemic collaboration and communication are the two vital components we need to move the needle forward, as we’ve stated in this previous blog.
Even as we’re all feeling worn down and tired from an already seven-month-long global pandemic, and even as the list of systemic changes the industry needs to make are growing daily, water professionals must charge ahead with the transformative change to ensure access to clean drinking water and environmental protection through wastewater management. We think Matt Damon sums it perfectly in the Brave Blue World documentary, “How lucky are we that we’re the ones that get to solve this. In a hundred years, people are going to wish they were alive and they could solve a problem this big.”