Water. A resource with arguably more uses than any other. For the health of our bodies we drink, prepare food, bathe and brush teeth. For the preservation of our homes we wash clothes and dishes, water yards and gardens. Every living being relies on having enough, and entire countries degrade when supplies are scarce. There is no greater thirst than that for adequate clean water supply.

For those who choose to be stewards of this great resource, it is far more than just a job. Each person in this industry has likely made and continues to make personal contributions to the preservation of clean water. Some participate in cleanup projects, fundraising and awareness. Many commit to large-scale environmental efforts, while others simply practice good habits in their own families and homes. But very few who work in our industry do not forever carry with them the importance of protecting our water, for all people in every community.

This commitment and the way in which it perpetuates our everyday lives was recently brought to light through a symbolic gesture of one company at the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Conference and Exhibition (WEFTEC), the world’s largest annual event of its kind. The gesture involved distributing a gift of steel straws to all who attended.

Kevin Westerling, editor of Water Online says “You might think that straws or ocean pollution are beyond the scope of interest for this publication and our audience — a valid point, perhaps, with respect to core operations. But, again, we are much more than our job descriptions. We are ambassadors for water throughout the day, every day.”

But being an ambassador of water is not as easy as it may sound. Whereas few people can deny the importance of clean water to daily life, access to that clean water is something often taken for granted. One way utilities around the country are fighting this complacency is through participation in an annual campaign known as “Imagine a Day Without Water.”  The campaign, now in its fourth year, combines art with science to paint a bleak picture of what life would look like without water, therefore raising awareness of the valuable services provided by the water and wastewater industry.

One participant in the campaign asked students to submit artwork and images illustrating what a day without water would be like. “No water to drink, or even to make coffee with. No water to shower, flush the toilet, or do laundry. Hospitals would close without water. Firefighters couldn’t put out fires and farmers couldn’t water their crops,” the campaign says.

In this season of blessings, we are united with people around the globe in our need for clean water. To those in the water industry who work to preserve and perpetuate our cause, we celebrate each and every one of you. It is a noble effort for which we fight, and one that is often taken for granted. On behalf of Alliance Water Resources, we thank you – for your passion, your dedication and your contributions.