Never has the line from the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge been more poignant than on the West Coast this year. We know that water is essential, and that’s why NACWA and my utility are part of a nationwide educational effort called “Imagine a Day Without Water.” Dozens of other clean water utilities, mayors, engineers, contractors, business leaders, community members, and schools have joined the effort, because even though water is absolutely essential to everything we do, it too often is forgotten.
Pipes in My City & Yours Average 50 Years of Age, Well Past Their Recommended Lifespan
At least once a week, there’s a news story about “our infrastructure falling apart” citing potholes and bridges that need to be replaced – infrastructure we see every day. Many forget that there is a whole universe under our feet, a massive network that works 24/7/365 to bring clean, safe drinking water to us and take away water after to be treated after it has been. According to National Geographic, the U.S. has 1.2 million miles of water mains—that’s 26 miles for every mile of interstate highway. Many of those pipes were built in the 1800s or early 1900s, and many of those systems were built for cities of a century ago, not modern metropolises. And while NACWA members like the City of Los Angeles do an amazing job of treating and bringing safe, reliable, and affordable water to customers, our rate payers should know that just because the infrastructure is invisible doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist.
The Average American Uses 176 Gallons of Water Per Day
Imagine a day where you get up in the morning and there isn’t any water. You couldn’t flush the toilet, make coffee, wash clothes or even shower, and that’s just at home. Here in Los Angeles, we have worked hard to reduce our water usage, due to the extreme drought. The Mayor’s Office launched the Save the Drop LA campaign and across the City, businesses and residents have been doing their part to conserve water. City departments and regional agencies are currently collaborating on the One Water LA 2040 Plan to reduce our dependency on imported water. The end result of all of this hard work is that our rate payers continue to have clean water for their homes and businesses, essential to quality of life and the economic vitality of our City.
We Value Water – And You Should Too!
Water flows through our rivers, creeks and oceans, and it even falls from the sky once in a while, but it is far from free. Processing it, treating it, and bringing it to and from your home or business costs millions of dollars a year – no matter how much or how little water we use. Throughout the coming decades, utilities like LA Sanitation and LADWP will undertake projects to replace aging infrastructure, improve local water quality, expand services to accommodate increased demand while responding to a number of additional needs. I’m proud to be part of this effort to ensure that we will never have to have a day without water. Join the conversation on social media using #ValueWater.
A marketeer for the past 14 years, Pamela Perez, Marketing Manager for LA Sanitation, jokes that it’s nice to finally use her powers for good after transitioning several years ago from the hospitality industry to the water industry. Armed with a B.A. from Penn State University and an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, she is responsible for promoting LA Sanitation’s programs to city businesses and residents. Pam is a Technical Manager on the City of Los Angeles’ One Water LA program and the Chair of NACWA’s Communications & Public Affairs Committee.