Clean drinking water is focus Thursday
National campaign designates October 20th ‘Imagine A Day Without Water’
(Southern Maine) Members of the Southern Maine Regional Water Council (SMRWC) are encouraging government, community and media leaders across the state to be aware of resources made available by a national effort called the “Value of Water Campaign,” which is sponsoring “Imagine a Day Without Water” on Thursday, October 20th.
The event is designed to highlight how water is precious and essential to life, and why the systems that protect and deliver clean water deserve constant maintenance and reinvestment. Hundreds of organizations nationwide are involved. All levels of government and schools are welcome to participate, as are private businesses, non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations. Resources are available at: https://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/resources
“We make major infrastructure upgrades in our water systems across the state every year, and more education about why this is so important really helps,” said Mark Vannoy, president of Maine Water. “Every water utility will agree that we need to keep raising awareness. Drinking water infrastructure tends to be hidden from public view, in pipes under the ground and in storage tanks and other facilities hidden away from roadways. Most people take their drinking water for granted. It is important to pause and think about the state of water infrastructure and the important role it plays in our daily lives.”
A national poll conducted earlier this year indicated that 75% of American voters approve of water funding contained in the recent infrastructure bill passed by Congress. This indicates a growing recognition by the public of the importance of timely investment in water related infrastructure. Since 2016, there has been an 18% drop in the perception that the nation’s water infrastructure is in good condition.
“Water utilities in Maine do a good job, but because there is a lot of uncertainty as we look to solve issues related to emerging risks, we cannot rest on past successes,” said Scott Minor, president of SMRWC and superintendent of Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells Water District. “Maine should continue to lead the nation in water quality, and that starts with education and understanding of the value of water.”
The Southern Maine Regional Water Council is an alliance of water and wastewater utilities that advance regional water supply objectives, including regional cooperation, improving public water system resiliency, developing cooperative programs to reduce expenses for customers, and planning for future public water supply needs of the region. Approximately 350,000 people in 25 communities or 25% of Maine’s population are served by its members:
* Kennebunk, Kennebunkport & Wells Water District
* Kittery Water District
* Maine Water Company
* Portland Water District
* Sanford Water District
* South Berwick Water District
* York Water District