In a nutshell… Many Americans collect, store, and use (harvest) rainwater for watering plants, cleaning, bathing, and sometimes drinking. This article addresses some of the many household uses of harvested rainwater, including how to consume collected rainwater safely. 1” of rain × 1 sq. foot = 0.62 gallons of freshwater Freshwater scarcity is a
In a nutshell… This article examines public trust and factors affecting consumer confidence in the quality and safety of drinking water provided by community water systems. It highlights the results of a recently completed national survey of 2,200 U.S. adults by the American Water Works Association. Most Americans enjoy year-round access to safe drinking
In a nutshell… The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need for universal access to safely managed drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene. Acutely aware of a lack of progress toward achieving the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) pre-pandemic, and new impediments resulting from the pandemic, innovative projects around the globe can help inspire
In a nutshell… This article discusses Naegleria fowleri risk and prevention in water. These free-living amoebas can thrive in warm freshwaters such as lakes and sometimes inadequately treated, warm household (e.g., drinking, bathing) water. Entry of contaminated water through the nose—not by swallowing—can lead to a fatal brain infection. Only a handful of cases are
In a nutshell… Many small U.S. community water systems were already struggling with economic, technical, and regulatory challenges before coronavirus (COVID-19) made them bigger. This article highlights how small and rural utilities are coping to stay operational during the pandemic. The majority (97%) of the nation’s 146,000+ active public water systems are considered “small”
In a nutshell… Maintaining water safety and hygiene is critically important during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses recent statements from public health agencies about how properly treating and disinfecting wastewater and drinking water inactivates the COVID-19 virus. COVID-19 photo credit: CDC As the world adapts to the growing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, so too
In a nutshell… It’s never too late to celebrate safe drinking water. December 16th, 2019, marked the 45th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which continues to serve as the blueprint for protecting U.S. drinking water from source to tap. Monday, December 16, 2019, marked the 45th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water
Reliable, 24/7 operation of the nation’s water utilities depends on access to a qualified workforce—particularly sufficient numbers of certified water operators who run the equipment and control the treatment processes for drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater. These allied and evolving fields are increasingly linked through water reuse to ensure that Americans have access to clean and safe water and to help protect the environment.
It is unsettling to realize that in our high-tech world there are still large segments of the population that lack access to the drinking water and sanitation services most of us take for granted. The theme of this year’s World Water Week, Water for Society: Including All, seems particularly apt in light of this observation. Meanwhile, a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (image at right) provides a “special focus” on global “WASH” (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) inequalities. A product of the Joint Monitoring Program, the report concludes that while significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to water, sanitation, and hygiene, progress is uneven. And although there is a laudable commitment at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda to “leave no one behind,” the reality is there are many groups potentially in that precarious position.
Americans consume over one billion glasses of drinking water each day from over 151,000 U.S. community water systems. But natural and man-made disasters, including wildfires, can impact the provision of safe drinking water. Thankfully rare, wildfires sometimes damage or destroy the treatment plants, storage tanks, pump stations, and pipes that are needed to provide drinking water to our homes, schools, and businesses.