Most tap water in this country – including the safe and reliable water provided to United Water’s millions of customers – costs less than a penny a gallon. But water is the essence of life; no person, animal, planet, business or society can survive without it. Surely, water’s value – and the convenience of having readily available safe water – is far higher than its cost. Herein lies the conundrum: many of us don’t value things that are cheap and available. Many of us – Americans in particular – tend to take water for granted.
Those of us in the water industry have long been concerned about a dangerous gap between the challenges our nations’ water supply currently faces and the willingness of our nation’s cities, towns and customers to address these challenges to secure this inexpensive and reliable resource.
Specifically many communities across the U.S. are relying on an aging water infrastructure which is in need of repair or replacement. It is estimated that there is one water main break every two minutes in the United States, and that cities and towns across the nation must invest $1.3 trillion in repairs and upgrades over the next 25 years.
United Water is preparing to tackle the infrastructure challenge by making nearly $1 billion in capital investments over the next five years in its own systems and in city systems that leverage private capital through the SOLUTIONSM model.
Through SOLUTIONSM United Water can attract long-term private investment for cities that choose to improve their municipal water and environmental systems.
Because much of our nation’s water system lies unseen underground, in addition to investments, we must also raise awareness about the importance of water if we expect cities, towns and customers – across the nation – to prioritize its investment.
To bridge the awareness gap, United Water will support a new Value of Water Campaign that will provide information about water in our daily lives and the infrastructure needed to deliver it. United Water will support the campaign by sharing information with customers and stakeholders through its own social media channels.
The Campaign will benefit from the experience and collective reach of nearly 100,000 city water utilities, non-profit water associations and water services and technology companies across the country.
You’ll be hearing from your local water utility soon at www.thevalueofwater.org , or on Twitter at @thevalueofwater.
United Water customers can always reach us at @unitedwater.