The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) recently partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) to re-launch the www.waterisyourbusiness.org website. The goal of the “Water is Your Business” campaign is to engage public leaders, businesses and citizens on the universal and critical importance of investing in the nation’s water infrastructure.
The user-friendly, interactive website is designed to spark conversations – informed by facts – at the community level on the need for immediate and sufficient investment in water infrastructure and encourage businesses, families and individuals to play an active role in driving the debate.
Although the U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates at least 36 states can expect to face water shortages in 2013, there is little public demand for taking immediate action to address aging and rapidly deteriorating water infrastructure. That’s where “Water is Our Business” enters the picture.
According to NAWC’s Executive Director Michael Deane, “We hope to create a community of ‘advocates/ambassadors’ who are actively involved in promoting real-world solutions to the infrastructure challenge.”
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates 1.7 trillion gallons of treated water per year are lost from U.S. water distribution systems, costing the nation $2.6 billion. The cost to repair, replace and upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure is estimated at $600 billion during the next 20 years by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Investing in water infrastructure will not only reduce waste and improve reliability, it also will generate new jobs and contribute an estimated $3.46 billion in economic growth.
The “Water is Your Business” website includes a toolkit with key messages and statistics, sample social media postings, web banners and draft language for individuals to use when reaching out to others. By engaging employees, public officials, relevant organizations, business partners, friends, family members and others and encouraging their involvement in the campaign, Deane contends, “We can build a strong group of advocates who can be activated when we need them.”