CONSUMER OUTREACH RESOURCES

  • Communication between a utility and its customers has historically been sparse and negative — complaints on one side, bills and notices on the other — but healthy communication is now encouraged as a key aspect of successful infrastructure development.
  • Storytelling and science may, at first glance, seem like strange bedfellows. Scientists usually share their research through academic journals and books or at academic conferences. But storytelling is a powerful way to share scientific research with non-expert audiences. Today, stories can be built digitally: photos, videos and audio clips create visually, emotionally effective stories that are relatable and easily understood.
  • Flush and forget? Not if you have a toilet that flushes to one of over 3,000 sites around the world where researchers are using wastewater to track SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But what do members of the public actually know about wastewater surveillance? And what do they think about researchers tracking what they send down the drain at their home?

  • Societal well-being is hugely dependent on a clean and available water supply, which is becoming increasingly dependent on community engagement and education.

  • A new analysis by Verify Markets on the North American Water Dispensing Solutions/Drinking Fountains Market shows the market was valued at $269.5 million USD in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 5.0% from 2021 to 2028. The market includes both indoor and outdoor drinking fountains; indoor applications made up most of the drinking fountain sales revenues in 2021.

  • The U.S. has more 148,000 drinking water systems which distribute 39 billion gallons of potable water to homes and businesses nationwide. For those who work in the drinking water and wastewater treatment industry, the size, scope, and challenges to the country’s water infrastructure are well known.

  • The current federal and state system of water infrastructure funding is designed to improve the way we move, treat, or store water, wastewater, or stormwater. It’s not inherently designed to target disparities in infrastructure quality and service. Addressing these disparities requires reimagining the dominant ways water is funded in the United States. At the same time, the water investments coming through the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are already slated to flow through long-standing channels, so those who care about advancing equity must continue to innovate within this existing system.

  • Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is particularly impactful in drought prone areas, incentivizing water conservation and alerting both service providers and consumers to possible leaks in real time. Researchers at UC Berkeley have used FirmoGraphs’ database of meeting minutes and capital improvement plans to analyze recent trends in AMI adoption among California drinking water agencies.

  • Water Online recently published an article for Water Innovations on environmental racism — Environmental Racism In America: How It's Affecting Vulnerable Communities — and I paused during the editing process to consider watering down the key phrase to "environmental injustice" before ultimately deciding that I might also be watering down the transgression itself. However, the very consideration made me wonder why I had the instinct to tone it down in the first place.

  • World Water Day both celebrates clean water and reminds us that 2 billion people live without access to it. Safe drinking water is one of the most fundamental elements of health — healthy water keeps people healthy; sick water makes people sick.

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Austin Alexander leads Sustainability at Xylem.