12 times we don’t want to imagine a day without water

Danielle Mayorga, The Value of Water Campaign | September 15, 2016

On today’s day of action, we’re asking Americans to imagine a day without water so that they understand the importance of water and the infrastructure that brings it to and from our homes and businesses. When we think of a day without water, we tend to think of the water that comes out of the tap when you fill a glass, make a pot of coffee, take a shower, or flush your toilet. But a day without water goes far beyond that. So how long can we really last during a day without water? Hint: not long.

  1. Wakeup Call. Whether it’s your phone or an alarm clock that wakes you up, your day literally cannot start without water. Plus we use 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower, 5-7 gallons per toilet flush, nearly 3 gallons to brush our teeth.
  2. Morning Coffee. Think you can’t live a day without coffee? You can’t live a day without water. We’re not just talking about the 4 cups you pour into your coffee maker. You need water to grow, roast, and transport the beans—not to mention the water that goes into producing cups, lids, sleeves at your local coffee shop. One latte can use up to 53 gallons of water!
  3. Favorite Pair of Blue Jeans for Casual Friday. From the raw materials for fabric production, garment manufacturing to transportation and distribution, and ultimately, to our laundry machines, we need water and infrastructure for the clothes on our backs. It can take up to 1800 gallons to grow enough cotton to produce one pair of jeans.
  4. Daily Commute. Planes, trains, and automobiles! Our entire transportation network relies on water infrastructure. We need water to manufacture cars and produce gas, but the infrastructure that keeps our communities moving depends on strong water and wastewater infrastructure beneath our feet. When water mains break, sewers collapse, or stormwater systems are overwhelmed, it impacts our roads, waterways, and daily commutes.
  5. The 9-5. Ask George Hawkins of DC Water how many jobs his utility supports in Washington DC and he’ll tell you “All of them!” We can’t go to work and make a living without safe and reliable water and wastewater service.
  6. Lunch. In a sense, we not only drink water, but we eat it too. No matter what you put on your plate, it needed water to be grown, produced, and transported to you.
  7. Happy Hour. When 5pm hits, raise your glass of wine (32 gallons) or pint of beer (144 gallons) to safe and reliable water infrastructure! Beyond the water it takes to produce some of our favorite adult beverages, wineries and breweries are looking for innovative ways to conserve or reuse water in the process.
  8. Afternoon Run along the Waterfront. Boating on the lake, a casual stroll along the river, or a day on the beach would not be enjoyable—or possible—without our wastewater systems. Our stormwater and wastewater infrastructure treats the water we use before releasing it to back to Mother Nature, protecting public health and the environment. Not only do our daily lives depend on water, but our environment does too.
  9. The Evening News. Whether you get your news electronically or in print, it takes water! One sheet of paper takes 3 gallons to produce, plus ink on the page. The entire print journalism industry relies on water.
  10. Netflix Marathon. The smart phones in our pockets, tablets, e-readers, computers, and televisions may not be waterproof, but it takes a significant amount of water to make the plastic, metal, and glass to create them. In addition to manufacturing our electronics, the data centers and computer farms that support everything in “the cloud” from Instagram to Netflix marathons rely on water for cooling the servers. A midsized data center can use 130 million gallons of water annually, as much as two 18-hole golf courses. So while you’re downloading the latest iOS update, celebrate the water infrastructure that supports it!
  11. Lights Out. It takes water to generate energy and energy to treat and deliver water. Every time we flip the switch to turn on the lights or plug in our devices, we are relying on and using essential water resources. Many water & power utilities are finding ways to be more efficient on both sides meanwhile wastewater treatment plants are investing in new technologies to recover energy & become energy neutral.
  12. Everything, Anything, 24/7. A day without water is a day we can’t imagine. Our health, our cities, our jobs and economy, our public safety, our environment, our goods—both essential and luxury—all depend on water and the valuable infrastructure that brings it two and from our homes and businesses. When we think about these resources and infrastructure

Sign our petition if you #ValueWater and agree that we need to invest in water and wastewater systems so no American has to imagine a day without water.