Clean water matters more than you think
This Thursday, Renewable Water Resources along with hundreds of water utilities nationwide is asking Americans to think about what their life would be without clean water.
It is easy to do actually. Disaster movies have been made about this premise. Children secretly dream of no water when they have to brush their teeth. We all have felt the subtle frustration of no water left in the bottle during a long hike.
So what is the reason then for Imagine a Day without Water? Many Americans don’t have clean water at their disposal. Think about what happened in the Midlands during the floods last fall. Think about the numerous troubles in places like Flint. Think about how many times you hear about boil water advisories in rural areas. Look at the drought stricken parts of California.
On a global scale, water is something people struggle to find. Many nations are plagued by lack of clean water. Yet, we as Americans almost take it for granted. No water at your house for a day is a minor hindrance. There is water somewhere else nearby that you can find easily. We know water is vital, but we just assume it arrives every morning like the sunrise.
We like to think a major reason many in the Upstate feel this way is because of the work of ReWa. We are the agency that cleans the water. The water that goes down your sinks, drains and toilets goes through a system of 343 miles of pipes to one of ReWa’s eight Water Resource Recovery Facilities where we then perform an extensive process to clean the water. This water is not drinking water, but supplements the flow of local rivers, where it supports aquatic life and helps other communities downstream to enjoy an abundance of water for recreational uses and production of drinking water.
We even utilize this clean water in the treatment process and this product is ideal for use in irrigation of lawns and fields.
And while clean water is life sustaining, there is a big business element as well. ReWa spent $34.5 treating water last year, and we are spending more than $40 million in capital improvements to protect water. But what we do goes beyond finances. Clean water helps the economy by being part of the region’s quality of life. Most companies don’t want to relocate their employees to a place where the water appears to be unsafe. They want a place where their employees want to live. Clean water is a valuable part of that quality of life equation.
Why? Go back to the first sentence of imagining a day without water. Companies don’t want to worry about employees getting sick from drinking contaminated water. They don’t want their employees not to have coffee in morning meetings. They want their employees to be able to spend their time off enjoying the outdoors that are fueled by lakes and streams.
So, today, don’t just think about the importance of clean water. Think about how you can help protect it.
Stacey Flax is the Customer Service/Contract and Public Relations Manager of Renewable Water Resources, which aims to protect, clean, and renew the valuable environmental resources of our community. Learn more at www.rewaonline.org.