September 15, 2016 is Imagine a Day Without Water. This national campaign is intended to highlight the importance of access to clean water through investment in reliable infrastructure to bring water to homes and businesses. As you can imagine, water is vital to all aspects of our lives. From a daily coffee or tea to water required in manufacturing and energy production, a day without water would prove difficult for most of us. Marana Water joins, the City of Avondale, the Central Arizona Project, Community Water Company, the Town of Gilbert, Pima County Water Reclamation, the City of Mesa, Tucson Water, and the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association participating in the campaign in Arizona. There are many more water providers and other entities participating around the country.
When working with our staff on how to best promote this campaign, there were plenty of ideas tossed around. We discussed several options to limit water use for the day, including forgoing morning coffee. At the end of the day, we did not want our level of service to suffer due to lack of caffeine or have our staff not properly hydrated, showing us how vital water is to our everyday lives. This national campaign works to bring these issues forward and remind us all of how important ready access to water is. The lack of water affects not just small things in our lives, but also would halt all firefighting capabilities, agriculture work, and hospital functions. Water connects us all in so many ways.
An ongoing joke among water providers is that we bury our best work. Water professionals put water and sewer lines in the ground, bury them, and then work diligently to maintain them. These lines are intended to last until well after they were installed, and materials are used to best meet this goal. However, there are many areas around the county where this infrastructure is dramatically aged and in desperate need of repair or replacement to avoid a disastrous loss of water. American Water, a water provider across the county, created a video about the importance of maintaining aging infrastructure. It gives a nice overview of the problems and some solutions out there.
Here at Marana Water our infrastructure is not as old as other cities, but the maintenance of these lines, tanks, and pumps is just as important. We work on keeping our system running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Days like this one remind everyone how important this maintenance is to keep the level of service our customers have come to expect.
The ability to turn a faucet to get an unlimited amount of water at any time is one of the greatest values of water. Americans, on average, use about 64,240 gallons of water a year, and 39% of these users rely in groundwater like we do here in Southern Arizona. According to the World Health Organization, around the world 1 in 10 people lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people lack access to a toilet. Imagine a Day Without Water also reminds us that there are plenty of instances where access to water and sewer facilities are nonexistent.
Could you imagine not brushing your teeth, doing laundry, or giving your pet their water bowl? We hope that our customers, and those reading this, take a few minutes to think about how you value water, and particularly on September 15. You can use the hashtag #ValueWater to be a part of the conversation this week on social media. Send us your stories at MaranaWater@maranaaz.gov.