COVID-19 has demonstrated more than ever the critical role that water and wastewater systems play around the world. In communities, protecting public health and safeguarding the environment builds a sustainable and healthy economy.

Today is the sixth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a national education campaign that brings together diverse stakeholders to highlight how water is essential, invaluable and in need of investment.

I encourage you to join in the day, which includes events, resolutions, student contests, social media engagement, and more. Most importantly, it’s a day to pause and really think about the way that water systems impact our lives and communities, and commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come.

We often don’t think about how we get water to our homes, schools and local businesses. We forget about the people who are “behind the scenes” who make it happen. Without our local water utilities, we wouldn’t have water to drink, brush our teeth or flush the toilet. Beyond that firefighters couldn’t do their jobs, hospitals would be unsanitary, and no one could wash dirty dishes or clothes. 

Utilities are required to quickly adapt in the face of tough challenges and even more so today, because of the pandemic. So this year, Xylem launched #ThankYourUtility, a campaign to celebrate all of the essential workers at utilities who provide reliable services that keep basic needs flowing, continuously working in staggered shifts or from their home when they could to keep us safe.

As the pandemic continues, wildfires, storms, floods and changing seasons are something that utility workers are challenged with addressing every day. Their work never stops and our thanks for them shouldn’t either. We continue to say thanks and encourage you to join in to support your local utility as you also consider how much water systems impact our lives and communities during Imagine a Day Without Water. Everyone at the utility plays a role in making sure their community has basic needs.