Happy Water Week! From April 23-29, we’re celebrating the water professionals who make sure we have clean and affordable drinking water. Our Water and Wastewater department at Heneghan and Associates, P.C. (HA) is happy to be a part of the water sector!
Water Week is a chance to acknowledge the people behind our country’s water. The organizations that sponsor Water Week fight for “the critical value and importance of ensuring all communities have safe, sustainable, reliable, and affordable water.” These organizations work with engineers, scientists and water company employees to regulate and guide the development of water systems. Groups like the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) push for legislators to support policies that will increase access to clean water. They also provide resources for all water professionals to help them advocate for and achieve water safety in their communities.
For our health and safety, it is critical to have clean water and working water systems. Globally, waterborne diseases kill millions of people every year, with seven million people in the U.S. alone getting sick from waterborne diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Sanitation is the only way to avoid this, which is why our water systems and sanitation practices are so important to maintain. The water professionals who do so keep us healthy.
Another concern is availability. Unfortunately, water is an endangered resource. Freshwater makes up only 3% of the world’s water, and with water pollution and population growth, we’re quickly using up the small amount of freshwater we have access to. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 1.1 billion people currently don’t have access to clean water, and two-thirds of the world’s population might experience water shortages by 2025.
This emphasizes how important the water sector’s advocacy work is. During Water Week, many water professionals travel to Washington D.C. for the National Water Policy Fly-In. They listen to speeches from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials and speak with members of Congress on Capitol Hill. Their goal is to advocate for policy changes and federal funding to improve water access in communities across the U.S.
We don’t usually think about how our water gets to us or what happens behind the scenes. We’re lucky to live in an area where we have access to clean water, as well as natural resources that keep our water supply abundant. But none of this would be possible without water professionals.
Water companies of all sizes keep our water flowing, but at HA, we have a soft spot for the rural and regional water districts and companies we work with. These companies often have a large service area and only a few employees. Their people are passionate about water and work hard to keep the systems clean and running. Organizations like the Illinois Rural Water Association (IRWA) do their part to support these water professionals, and they have HA’s support, too.
Our Water and Wastewater engineers design systems to be efficient and reliable. We often work with municipalities and local water districts, among others, to plan water treatment plants, distribution systems, storage tanks, chemical feed systems and more, all of which are necessary for clean water system operation.
We extend our appreciation to our Water and Wastewater department for their work, and our thanks to the water professionals in our community who do so much to keep us healthy! We’re celebrating them this Water Week.