Vanessa M. Leiby is executive director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Assn., a Washington, D.C.-based trade organization that…
Mar 18, 2015

The WWEMA Challenge: How Long Can You Last With #NoWater?

How many times each day do you rely on immediate access to clean, safe water? If you’re like me, it’s a lot. Recently I kept track of a day in the life of my water usage, including the number of times I poured myself a glass of water (10), brushed my teeth (2), washed my hands (11), rinsed my food (2), showered (1), washed dishes (2), ran the dishwasher (1) and flushed the toilet (7). That’s 36 times I “turned on my tap” in a single day. Had this been laundry day or car wash day or bathe-the-dog day, the number would have been even higher. And typically, I do all of that without ever thinking about it.

Such is the dilemma we face in the water industry. Water is vital but—at least in our country—often taken for granted. The infrastructure required to allow me to do something as simple as rinse off my apple in the morning is quite remarkable, but because it is out of sight, it is usually out of mind.

On March 12, the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Assn. (WWEMA) issued the WWEMA Water Challenge to raise public awareness of the critical role water plays in our daily lives and the need for adequate funding for water infrastructure.

We are asking people to turn off their taps, whether literally or figuratively, and share their experiences on social media using the #NoWater hashtag. The Challenge runs for a month, up through Water Week, April 12 to 18.

So here is my challenge to you:

  • Check out the #NoWater Challenge and try it yourself.
  • Share your experiences on Twitter, Facebook and other social media (and don’t forget the hashtag #NoWater!).
  • Challenge your friends, family, colleagues, and local officials to take the challenge and share their experiences as well.
  • Sign our online petition supporting water and wastewater infrastructure funding.

Those of us who work in this industry dedicate our lives to water, but I am betting even we will be surprised at the many ways we use it and take it for granted each day.

Will you accept the challenge?

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