Join us in taking a moment to consider the value of water to our community. Click the image to watch a brief video created for Imagine a Day Without Water 2017.
Crisis: A Day Without Water
Can you imagine a day without water?
No water to shower or brush your teeth. When you flush the toilet, nothing happens. Firefighters can’t put out fires. Manufacturing stops. Restaurants close. Doctors can’t wash their hands.
Nationwide, a single day without water service would put $43.5 billion in economic activity at risk, according to a 2017 analysis by the Value of Water Campaign. In just eight days, 1.9 million jobs would be in jeopardy.
A day without water would be nothing short of a humanitarian, political, and economic crisis.
Consensus: The Need to Invest in Water
In early 2017, a national poll asked voters where the federal government should focus its legislative agenda. Investment in infrastructure was the most important issue for two thirds of voters—by a double-digit margin over other issues. And an astonishing 82 percent of Americans said water infrastructure needed to be a top priority.
Our drinking water and wastewater systems face multi-faceted problems. The infrastructure is aging and in need of investment. Drought, flooding, and climate change stress water and wastewater systems.
Although these regional challenges require locally-driven solutions, reinvestment in water must be a national priority. But water infrastructure has not been a federal priority for decades, leaving states, localities, and water utilities to make up the difference. Utilities must charge water and sewer rates and development fees that can pay for needed pumps, plants, and pipes.
Opportunity: Sound Planning, Appropriate Investment
Locally, Dublin San Ramon Services District plans to invest $176 million in capital projects over the next 10 years. We will rehabilitate or replace pipes, pumps, reservoirs, and treatment systems to maintain safe and reliable services, 24/7. We will expand water and wastewater infrastructure and develop alternative water supplies to serve our growing customer base. And we will continue to seek federal and state funding to match local investments.
Because DSRSD is relatively small, we form partnerships on many projects to share the cost and workload. For example:
- With four other Tri-Valley water agencies, we are conducting a potable reuse feasibility study to make our water supply more resilient to drought.
- With our partners in the San Ramon Valley Recycled Water Program, we are expanding our water recycling plant and seeking state and federal grants to share the cost.
- Through the Bay Area Clean Water Agencies, we are collaborating with regulators on limiting wastewater nutrients being discharged to San Francisco Bay—sound science that will protect the bay and determine our future investments in treatment and resource recovery.
Regional solutions are not only smart and efficient, they are more likely to attract state and federal funding.
DSRSD is joining with hundreds of groups for Imagine a Day Without Water, a national day of education about the value of water. We agree it is vital to prioritize investment in the water infrastructure that sustains our communities. We will continue to plan well and invest appropriately to keep water flowing.