News Feature | October 5, 2018

Utilities Invoke A Nightmare: 'Imagine A Day Without Water'

Sara Jerome

By Sara Jerome,

Water utilities around the country are inviting the public to think the unthinkable in a campaign kicking off October 10 known as “Imagine a Day Without Water”.

The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) is among the organizations participating in the events.

The utility “will join hundreds of elected officials, water utilities, community leaders, educators, and businesses nationwide in celebrating the fourth annual [event] with a behind-the-scenes tour of its Wastewater Treatment Facility in Atlantic City, NJ,” SNJ Today reported.

ACUA President Rick Dovey described the rationale behind the campaign, which drew 750 participants last year.

“Most people don’t think about what happens after they flush the toilet, do a load of laundry or take a shower,” Dovey said, per the report. “But, the infrastructure that captures and treats this wastewater is critical to public health and our local economy. We are excited to welcome the public to our facility to learn more about this critical service.”

The campaign is designed to draw attention to something many consumers take for granted: clean water access.

“Imagine a Day Without Water is a nationwide campaign of education and advocacy about the value of water,” Mass Live reported.

Bruce Hauk, president of Illinois American Water, summed up the importance of the event from a value-of-water perspective.

“While it’s hard to imagine even just one day without water, many still take this critical service for granted. We hope to raise awareness and educate about the value of water service by combining art with the science of drinking water service,” he said in a statement.

The value of water is of pivotal importance to the water industry. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) consistently ranks value-of-water issues among the top concerns of water professionals. Water experts say that the public does not fully appreciate the value of drinking water resources.

Illinois American Water is bringing a creative lens to the campaign, asking students to submit artwork that imagines a day without water.

The campaign itself paints a bleak picture of that that would look like.

“No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn't put out fires and farmers couldn't water their crops,” the campaign says.