Blog

Making the Business Case for Water

Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance | March 31, 2015

Value of Water Coalition steering committee member Veolia’s Senior Vice President for Sustainability and Public Affairs of North America, Edwin Piñero, recently spoke at the City Club of Cleveland regarding business and the value of water. Ed noted that demand for water continues to increase as populations grow and sectors like energy and agriculture require massive water use to operate. How we value water - as a sophisticated service that is highly technical, heavily engineered, and capital-intensive- will determine water’s future. | More >

How Do We Value Water?

Keith Zukowski, Value of Water Coalition | March 30, 2015

With drought in the Western states expected to reach more dire levels this year, now more than ever we need to consider how we value and price water. In the most recent The Atlantic, “Finding the Right Price for Water” Bourree Lam investigates the disconnect between water’s status as an essential resource and its pricing that is largely commensurate with an expendable good. The piece takes a timely look at water as it pertains to the classic supply/demand curve. | More >

SF Sewers Rap Video: You Can’t Live a Day Without Me!

Harlan Kelly, General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission | March 27, 2015

As general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, I’m always looking for new ways to make visible what’s our largely invisible water and wastewater infrastructure.

This week the SFPUC released “You Can’t Live A Day Without Me”, a rap song about the City’s aging sewer system. The video was filmed and edited by San Francisco’s youth through BAYCAT, a local non-profit empowering underserved City youth through digital media training. | More >

How Will You Celebrate World Water Day?

Keith Zukowski, Value of Water Coalition | March 25, 2015

Since 1993, the United Nations General Assembly has recognized March 22 as World Water Day. It is a chance to celebrate a resource that is essential to life, yet remains undervalued and underappreciated. We at the Value of Water strive to educate the public on water’s value as a pillar of the economy, the community, the environment and much more. Learning about water through the various facts and resources on our page is a great start to your water education, but there are limitless other ways to learn how water impacts your life, in ways both large and small. | More >

Infrastructure Shouldn't be Controversial

Julius Ciaccia, Chief Executive Officer, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District | March 20, 2015

I recently had the opportunity to hear President Barack Obama speak at the City Club in Cleveland. His remarks covered a range of critical issues facing the nation—the federal budget, growing the middle-class, expanding manufacturing opportunities, and more. I was pleased that infrastructure and environmental regulation both made it into the President's comments as he welcomed questions from the audience after his speech.

"What has surprised me," said President Obama, when asked what has surprised him most since beginning his first term, "even though I had served in the Senate, was the continued difficulties in Congress getting stuff done that shouldn’t be controversial." He continued: “There are some issues that I knew would be controversial. I mean, we know that if there’s a debate in Congress about abortion, that’s going to be controversial.  There are strong-held views on each side. They’re hard to reconcile. We understand that. And that’s part of democracy and it never gets perfectly resolved.” | More >

AWWA Members Educate DC on the Value of Water

David LaFrance, Chief Executive Officer, American Water Works Association | March 18, 2015

Walk the halls of Capitol Hill this week and you’ll encounter more than 130 water utility leaders from throughout the United States, all headed to conversations with their respective members of Congress. By Thursday afternoon, they will have logged more than 400 separate meetings designed to inform elected officials of critical water issues in need of attention.

The utility leaders are part of the Water Matters! Fly-In, an annual event sponsored by the American Water Works Association. Delegates hail from AWWA sections from around the country, and they are armed with information on both national and local water concerns. | More >

Philly: From Water Main Breaks to Building an Industry of the Future

Howard Neukrug, CEO & Commissioner, Philadelphia Water Department | March 11, 2015

It was a welcome sight to see a feature article about our city’s water infrastructure in Philadelphia Magazine. Normally focusing on the city’s cultural offerings, best restaurants, and nightlife, the magazine highlighted how a particularly frigid winter has caused a rash of water main breaks.

Philadelphia is averaging 750 water main breaks a year. While that may seem like a lot, the numbers can jump even higher, depending largely on the weather. And, it is in-line with what older urban American cities are facing everywhere. | More >

H20: The High Price of Cheap

Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance | March 9, 2015

Kudos to Marketplace for the month-long series they ran in February—Water: The High Price of Cheap.

If you didn’t catch it on the radio, it’s definitely worth a listen. The series explores the many different dimensions of water. Contributors from the Virgin Islands to California share very personal stories about their individual connections to water. Another story looks at the dire state of water infrastructure in the city of Baltimore as an example of the national need to invest in the systems that bring water to and from homes and business across America. There are visionary stories about the future of water—how, for example, DC Water is turning human waste into a resource—creating both economic and environmental benefits. | More >

Water, Water Everywhere: National Geographic's Special Issue

Keith Zukowski, Value of Water Coalition | March 3, 2015

Water is everywhere and it influences everything. While it supports our lives, it also underlies challenges we face. From drought and pollution, to animal extinction and inadequate clean water supply, water’s vital nature also puts it at the fore of many issues across the globe. | More >

HBO's John Oliver Spotlights Our Nation's Infrastructure Crisis

Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance | March 3, 2015

It’s said that the best comedy is steeped in truth. So is the case with HBO comedian John Oliver’s twenty-minute take on America’s failing infrastructure. Beneath the punchlines are harsh truths: crumbling bridges, antiquated dams, and leaky pipes all exacerbated by a dearth of funding and a lack of urgency. As Oliver says, “it’s not a sexy problem, but it is a scary one.” | More >