Every year Earth Day arrives on April 22nd and newspapers and other media outlets focus on water quality, climate/air quality, clean energy or conservation issues, often from a global perspective. The term “Earth Day” is in and of itself an interesting one. I recently heard someone say that Planet Earth was misnamed – given that our planet is comprised in large measure of water, we should have named it “Planet Water”. If it were, we would celebrating “Water Day” every April 22nd and, perhaps, if every time a child had to learn they live on “Planet Water” we might have an army of advocates who understand the stakes in ensuring sustainable clean and safe water systems.
Just this past week, hundreds of advocates in our sector boarded airplanes and flew to Washington, DC for Water Week 2015 (Who needs “Water Day” when we can have our own Water Week, right?!). This event was supported by nearly 50 organizations representing the water sector at the state, regional and national levels. It is a terrific start for us to stop talking to ourselves, to collaborate as a sector, and, in this instance, to take our message to Capitol Hill. But it is just that – a start. Utilities and other organizations across this country should make sure that the same message we are bringing to federal decision-makers is brought to local leaders and every ratepayer across the country. On this Earth Day, NACWA is asking that we remind everyone that the more appropriate term for where we live is “Planet Water” and if we take care of this resource and invest in it appropriately we can all continue to live, grow, and thrive.