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'Day Without Water' observance illustrates reality of living without

AFP via Getty Images

Most of us take for granted clean, fresh water when we turn on the kitchen faucet, but it can be rare for many people, and it is why the ninth annual "Imagine a Day Without Water" is being observed today in communities across the U.S.

Christy Harowski, director of the Value of Water campaign, noted dozens of communities across the country have suffered devastating effects to their water systems due to floods, droughts, ice storms or the result of aging infrastructure.

"People do have the belief that our water systems here in the United States are fine and that is why we take it for granted," Harowski pointed out. "But the reality is that the state of water in our country is fragile."

"A Day Without Water" calls attention to what would happen if taps turned off and people were not able to prepare meals, bathe their children or wash clothes. Harowski encouraged people to engage in a conversation about water today on social media through the hashtag #ValueWater, and get involved locally to make sure their water is safe and protected.

Harowski stressed 2 million Americans, especially Black, Indigenous, and communities of color, as well as low-income communities, are estimated to live without clean water and sanitation services.

"Providing water is not free," Harowski emphasized. "It takes people and it takes working infrastructure to deliver it equitably across the country and to your tap."

Last month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $7.5 billion is available through the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. The low-interest loan program is meant to help communities invest in drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.