One in 10 people in the world lack access to safe drinking water. Water.org estimates that more than $250 billion is lost globally each year due to lack of safe water and sanitation. Yet in the U.S., most Americans take water, and the systems that bring it to and from homes and businesses, for granted. We turn on the faucet and expect hot, running water for our shower, or cool, clean water to drink or cook with. We flush a toilet and never consider where that wastewater goes, or how that fire hydrant provides life and structure-saving water for firefighters when called into action.
We expect it. We never consider it. It just is. How could we ever imagine the reality of so many other people — a day without water? But the possibility is there, if not easily visible. Beneath our feet lies an intricate infrastructure, aging and unreliable. The problems facing our drinking water and wastewater systems are multi-faceted. According to the EPA’s most recent estimates, more than $655 billion is needed to repair and replace drinking water and wastewater infrastructure nationwide over the next 20 years. Water.org says that every $1 invested in water and sanitation provides a $4 economic return. Water is a smart investment, and investment in our nation’s water infrastructure must be a top priority.
On September 15, 2016, AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company is participating in the second annual ‘Imagine a Day Without Water’ campaign — a national online movement to raise awareness about the value of water to humanity, the country’s aging and failing water infrastructure, and the need for public and private investment. As a provider of products that give life to our water infrastructure system — and thus, humanity — we are joining the efforts of hundreds of water and wastewater utilities, water proponents, organizations and media across the country to lend our voice in support of this important issue. To learn more visit http://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/.
See what our experts say:
- Why Water Infrastructure Should Be the Priority by David Drake
- The History of Water Infrastructure and What We Can Learn From It by David Drake
- ‘You’ve Come a Long Way Baby’; The Making of a Modern-Day Fire Hydrant by Derek B. Scott
- Network H2O: Providing Solutions to the Water Crisis by Maury D. Gaston
Check out the links below to learn what others are saying about our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure:
- American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure
- American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge
- The Value of Water Coalition –
- AWWA Celebrates Congressional Fix to WIFIA
Articles from AMERICAN on our nation’s aging infrastructure:
- Aging Water Infrastructure Highlights Need for Investment
- President Signs WIFIA Infrastructure Legislation
- Study Brings Water Infrastructure Challenges to Surface
- AMERICAN President and CEO Van Richey Testifies Before Congress
- Each day in the U.S., 700 water mains break. Annually we lose 1.7 trillion gallons of water to leaks and breaks.
- 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, but only 1 percent is accessible freshwater suitable for human use.
- 95 percent of Americans think it’s important to improve and modernize water infrastructure.
- ASCE graded the nation’s water infrastructure a D.
- 60 percent of Americans favor paying more to invest in water infrastructure.
- We need to invest $4.8 trillion over the next 20 years to update our water system.
- ASCE graded the nation’s wastewater infrastructure as a D as well.
- There are between 700,000 and 800,000 miles of public sewer mains in the U.S. Many of these pipes were installed after World War II and approaching the end of their useful life.
- Since 2007, the federal government has required cities to invest more than $15 billion in new pipes, plants, and equipment to eliminate combined sewer overflows.