How Will You and Your Agency Observe a Special Week Dedicated to Water?

Among all the special national week celebrations, one deserves special attention from members of the water and wastewater professions.

It seems there’s an official month, or week, or day for almost everything. In April alone there’s Golden Rule Week, National Public Health Week, National Library Week, National Tattoo Week, Coin Week, National Volunteer Week, Bedbug Awareness Week, American Quilters Society Week, and many others.

Amid all this, there’s one special April week that water professionals should take seriously. That’s Water Week, celebrated this year April 15-21. It’s a week created by and for organizations connected with water and the environment — you can see a list of them at www.waterweek.us/supporting-organizations.

Focus on advocacy

Water Week is emphatically about politics, not tree plantings and children’s festivals. While the focus is on the federal government, there’s no reason water and wastewater agencies can’t take actions locally and make the day their own. To help generate ideas, here are some activities that last year’s Water Week included:

National Water Policy Fly-In. Water professionals from around the nation flew to Washington, D.C., to meet in-person with policymakers on issues like infrastructure funding, service affordability and regulatory reform.

Water & Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association 44th annual Washington Forum. Members of the WWEMA attended a forum to learn about the direction of a new administration and what it might mean for the water industry and water-related businesses. The event included a Congressional Reception. 

Rally for Water. Held on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, this highlight of Water Week was a water sector show of force and grass-roots unity, looking to focus lawmakers and the nation on sustaining and ensuring public access to clean water in America. 

Water = Jobs: The Economic Opportunity of Investing in Water Infrastructure. Here, the Value of Water Campaign unveiled a report evaluating the economic benefits of investing in water infrastructure. The report stated that closing the investment gap for water infrastructure would have a ripple effect of job creation and economic growth.

American Water Works Association Water Matters Fly-In. Hosted by the AWWA Water Utility Council since 2002, this event brought members from across the country to Washington to express the water community’s concerns directly to members of Congress and their staffs.

Deloitte and Water For People. This forum in a panel format convened water and urban sector experts and decision-makers to discuss practical ways to harness the potential of women in urban water management.

If you can’t get away to join the events in Washington, D.C., no doubt Water Week activities can translate to the local level. For example, how about a presentation about infrastructure investment before the city council or village board? Or a tour of one community’s water and wastewater treatment plants for all elected municipal officials in a county? The possibilities are limited only by the imagination.

There’s also a day …

Incidentally, if you’re looking for a special day to celebrate, there’s World Water Day (www.worldwaterday.orgwww.worldwaterday.org), held each year on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of clean water and advocate for sustainable management of freshwater resources. This global observance was designated by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 and first celebrated in 1993. The 2017 theme for the day was wastewater. On this day, there’s plenty of room for “softer,” less political observances like water festivals, classroom presentations, public exhibits, open houses and plant tours. How will you and your staff mark these special observances? The time to make plans is now.



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