Letter: A day without water

Editor of the Reformer:

Here in Vermont, we cherish our natural waters — Lake Champlain, rivers, smaller lakes, and wetlands. We know how important they are to our quality of life and the ecosystems we want to preserve.

But we seldom acknowledge the water we drink, wash with, flush, and use for manufacturing every day. It's provided to us by a huge, complex infrastructure that is largely below ground, out of sight, and therefore too often neglected.

Ironically, we can't preserve the natural waters we love unless we carefully manage the quality of the water we use.

On Oct. 12, a nationwide consortium of organizations will promote Imagine a Day Without Water to remind the public of the value of working water. The event's 500-plus sponsors include cities, colleges, environmental nonprofits, water districts, fire departments, corporations, Native American tribal nations, and more.

The message — an alarm, really — is: A day without water is a crisis. No water to drink; no water for doctors to wash their hands in. No water to put out fires or irrigate crops. No water to flush toilets, wash dishes, or brew beer.

The Value or Water Campaign, which is spearheading the event, has a simple advocacy: Invest in water infrastructure or risk doing without water. Throughout the U.S., many water and wastewater systems are badly in need of repair or replacement. They are the single most important requirement for maintaining public health and for protecting the lakes and rivers we cherish, yet they are under-appreciated and under-funded.

On Oct. 12, take a moment imagine a day without water and to remember the value of "working water." If you're concerned about your water or wastewater systems, visit www.thevalueofwater.org to learn more about how to keep your water flowing and clean.

Daniel Hecht, Executive Director

Green Mountain Water Environment Association, Oct. 9


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