Survey: What do you want to know about your tap water?

Survey: What do you want to know about your tap water?

In honor of National Drinking Water Week, and to continually improve the service we provide to water customers, we are promoting a special activity for consumers to get to know their H₂O.  Through a partnership with the Water Research Foundation and researchers from King’s College of London and the collaboration of water consumers from across the country, we will conduct important water consumer research through an online survey.   The survey will investigate what Americans want to know about their tap water and how they want to receive that information. We invite our customers, stakeholders, employees and readers to participate by taking a 25-min survey where you will be given the opportunity to enter into a prize draw of $100.   You can access the survey by clicking here: http://goo.gl/UcPzfU   Thank you, in advance, for your participation and for taking the time to get to know your H2O!  ...
Fix a leak week reminds us of the nexus between infrastructure and securing a resourceful future

Fix a leak week reminds us of the nexus between infrastructure and securing a resourceful future

The rate of treated water that is wasted around the U.S. and the world provides for a shocking statistic: up to half of treated water supplied to urban areas around the world is lost during distribution.   And, closer to home, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reminds us that U.S. households leak 1 trillion gallons nationwide every year.  That’s enough water to supply 11 million homes.   Consider this: every day, approximately 6 billion gallons of water are lost to avoidable leaks––enough water to supply the entire state of drought-stricken California.   During #FixaLeak week, utilities and individuals across the country are encouraging their customers and decision-makers makers alike to think globally and act locally.   As individuals we can all take action to fix that dripping faucet or replace our appliances and showerheads with WaterSense products.   As communities, we need to raise our expectations for infrastructure maintenance and replacement. So frequently, water leaks are out-of-sight and out-of-mind until they spring to life and disrupt order in the form of a costly and wasteful water main break.   So chime in on Twitter at #FixaLeak and add your voice to raise awareness!   As we face a future with increasingly scarce resources, we have to consider the state of our public infrastructure and that which supplies our homes. Our infrastructure is the key to using the resources that we depend upon but it can also be a culprit for unnecessary...
How water and waste innovations make cities possible

How water and waste innovations make cities possible

What do toilets and iPhone’s have in common? How did water, sewer and solid waste innovations make cities possible? And why is big infrastructure essential to make cities function? If you want answers, we recommend you watch this fantastic PBS video. Part of a six part series titled “HOW WE GOT TO NOW” with Steven Johnson, “The Story of Clean” is a captivating one that traces innovations in the water, sewer and waste industry that can be credited for the making of the modern world. The narrator connects seemingly unconnected developments in high-tech, fashion, law and order and health to the so-called “heroes of clean.” Johnson also animates the story of our own United Water forefathers who took then-radical water treatment measures to eradicate cholera and typhoid in the early 1900’s. We know now that access to clean drinking water and the prevention of its contamination through waste management is the backbone for the circular economy. But it is gratifying to look at our daily work through a broad historical lens.  ...
10 Smart Water Tips for Conserving and Living Green

10 Smart Water Tips for Conserving and Living Green

  United Water recently kicked off our annual conservation program with the release of an annual Conservation Guide, a publication designed to promote simple methods of conserving water.  In an effort to optimize other natural resources as well, we have chosen to publish the guide for conserving water as an interactive e-book, available via our website along with 10 tips for smart water use available on local twitter and facebook channels throughout the country.  Due to the high desert climate in Idaho, additional conservation information is available for Boise residents. The guide covers a broad range of topics involving water conservation, and even highlights notable conservation efforts made by local groups over the last year, including work from local high school students. Kathryn Hilburn, a Ninth Grade student at Boise’s North Junior High School, produced the First Place winner in United Water Idaho’s inaugural Summer Conservation Student Video Contest. Hilburn’s entry, titled “Show Water You Care,” was judged to be the video that best communicated a strong conservation message in a clear and easily understood manner. Using simple artwork and narration, Hilburn showed the high value we place on water in our everyday lives and the consequences of wasting the precious resource. In recognition of her achievement, United Water made a $1,500 donation to the Boise Public Schools Education Foundation for her Accelerated Biology class.  Additionally, the video will be aired on local TV stations in Idaho as part of our annual summer water conservation Public Service media campaign. Residential water use spikes across the country during the summer months due to lawn watering.  The publication provides tips and...
Water – we act locally and think globally

Water – we act locally and think globally

    Did you know that—at a global level-more than 780 million people do not have access to drinking water, and that more than 2.5 billion have to live without adequate sanitation? Also, approximately 6 to 8 million people die each year from water-related diseases. As part of a global company that provides essential life services, we act locally but maintain a global sense of responsibility for providing solutions to these challenges. Last week, our own Patrick Cairo, senior vice president of Corporate Development, led a discussion in Washington, DC to galvanize leaders around collective solutions for global water challenges in advance of International Water Week – to be held in Singapore in early June. Speakers highlighted the alarming facts and numbers behind water and sanitation around the world, stressing that the private sector has to be a key component in this battle; and agreeing that all sectors must be accountable for results. A speaker from the Millennium Challenge Corporation pointed out that partnering with a company like United Water – or in this case, SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT—and making a water project “work” for private financing can provide solutions and bolster the local banking system. As an example, the speaker cited the Public-Private Partnership that invested in and expanded upon a wastewater treatment plant in Jordan. This is why United Water and its parent company Suez Environnement provide local authorities with public-private solutions, from water management to skills transfer, in order to combine quality of service with environmental performance and results. It is infinitely possible to make water projects work for both public and private sectors. Doing so will also...
We won’t settle for D+ grades

We won’t settle for D+ grades

  Providing clean and reliable water and environmental services is what we do at United Water. And like many of the over 50,000 water utilities and 16,000 wastewater utilities across the nation, public and environmental health is our duty. But to maintain the level of standards that our customers expect, we need to raise awareness of the challenges facing our aging water infrastructure. A panelist at an event hosted by The Value of Water Coalition in Washington DC this week said that the water industry may in fact be a victim of its own success. Despite many pipes being 90 – 100 years old, water service is pretty reliable. And major catastrophes involving water main breaks are not the norm – yet. A majority of Americans rightfully expect reliable service from their utilities. But many are unaware that this invaluable resource is in need of leadership; new ways of thinking about an old problem; and new financing approaches. In fact, only 40% of water customers make connection between strong water infrastructure & clean drinking water. It is no secret that our communities are now relying on aging infrastructure in need of repair or replacement. We know that American cities and towns collectively need to invest hundreds of billions of dollars – between $400 billion and $1 trillion– in their public water and sewer systems. We also know that because of deferred investment choices the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) currently grades the nation’s water infrastructure a “D+.” And we are not a D+ Nation. Investing in water infrastructure is not only important for our domestic use, but it is...