Many Americans take our access to freshwater for granted. It is typically only in moments of crisis, due to drought or contamination, that we truly understand the value of our water. That’s why the annual Value of Water Campaign, led by the American Water Works Association, is asking us all to imagine a day without water. Consider for a moment not being able to brush your teeth or take a shower. Imagine having no water to make coffee, wash the dishes, or flush the toilet. Suddenly, it’s easy to see how often we depend on water for mundane, yet critical tasks. Now consider that in the U.S., over $43.5 billion of economic activity depends on potable water each day. While this may seem like a far-fetched idea, recent crises such as lead contamination in Flint, Michigan, droughts in California, and multiple catastrophic hurricanes have highlighted the crucial role of our water utilities.
When you Imagine a Day Without Water, it becomes clear investing in our nation’s water infrastructure is critical. Water utilities today face a growing set of stakeholder demands coupled with an aging infrastructure, technology, and workforce. Investment in infrastructure and technology upgrades is vital to sustaining our water system. It is estimated that an additional $82 billion per year for 10 years is needed to meet projected capital needs for water infrastructure. The Value of Water Campaign further estimates closing the investment gap would result in over $220 billion in total economic activity and generate 1.3 million jobs.
There is no doubt about it, a day without water is a crisis. That is why we are joining with hundreds of groups across the country for Imagine a Day Without Water, because we encourage individuals to pay attention to our water systems. West Monroe Partners understands the different drivers for water utility modernization. We understand the value of water to people, economics, and to the environment. We support our clients plan and execute transformational initiatives that address these challenges, and position them for long-term benefit realization and enhanced customer engagement.