For many of us in the United States, life without water isn’t something we think about. From the moment we wake up, it’s simply there — that first trip to the bathroom, that morning shower, that piping hot cup of coffee. We need water for brushing our teeth, washing dishes, and preparing meals. But it goes even further: essential services like hospitals, firefighting, energy production and farming would cease without water. Living without it is nearly inconceivable.
For millions of Americans, however, it’s all too real. A 2019 report by the U.S. Water Alliance and DigDeep revealed that 2 million people in the United States lack access to basic services like running water, wastewater services — and even indoor plumbing. “While the majority of Americans take high-quality drinking water and sanitation access for granted, millions of the most vulnerable people in the country — low-income people in rural areas, people of color, tribal communities, immigrants — have fallen through the cracks,” the report noted.
To raise awareness of the water access gap in America and elevate the importance of water infrastructure, the Value of Water Campaign launched Imagine a Day Without Water in 2014. Now in its eighth year, Imagine a Day Without Water will take place on October 20, 2022. It provides an opportunity for organizations from all sectors, including water and wastewater providers, city leaders, policymakers, engineers, and educators, to help spread the message that water is essential and investing in water infrastructure is critical.
Hundreds of organizations have signed up to participate this year and there are many ways to get involved: organize an art contest, host an event or tour, pitch a story to a local news outlet, develop curricula for your students, reach out to your mayor, town council or governor about issuing a proclamation supporting the campaign — or simply engage on social media.
On October 20, let’s Imagine a Day Without Water so that, one day, others won’t have to.