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Can You Imagine a Day Without Water?

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Indiana has an estimated $7 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. (Pexels/Pixabay)
Indiana has an estimated $7 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next 20 years. (Pexels/Pixabay)
October 23, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS – Water is an essential part of life, and an observance Wednesday reminds folks about the importance of protecting one of our most valuable resources.

Water utilities, city leaders, civil engineers, and environmental groups are among those promoting "Imagine a Day Without Water", a national educational effort now in its fifth year.

Connie Stevens, executive director of the group Alliance of Indiana Rural Water, encourages Hoosiers to pause for a moment and consider what one waterless day would be like.

"There's no coffee,” she points out. “You can't have a beer at the end of the day. Firefighters can't put out fires and you can't do laundry. You can't flush your toilet. Kids can't play in the water or go swimming. Lots of things can happen if you don't have water."

There are more than 1,000 municipal and rural water utilities in Indiana, and "Imagine a Day Without Water" also calls for investments in water and wastewater infrastructure networks.

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, Indiana has more than $7 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs over the next two decades.

From its collection from the surface or ground, water goes through a complex process to get into homes and businesses, including filtration, disinfection, storage and distribution.

And Stevens says in order to pump good quality water, utilities must have a certified operator on staff.

"These jobs are very important, because if you allow contaminated water to get through there, people can become very sick – and sometimes worse,” she stresses. “Many of those operators are getting older, so how do we get the new generation involved and interested in this industry?"

Stevens notes the Alliance of Indiana Rural Water provides worker training on Safe Drinking Water Act compliance issues, public health protection, and other safe water procedures.

More than 400 water and wastewater workers are expected at the alliance's conference Wednesday in Fort Wayne, which will feature the "Best Tasting Water in Indiana" taste-test competition.

Mary Schuermann Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN