By Don Ireland, contributing writer Colorado WaterWise
It would be a great understatement to say that water has been in the news a great deal this year. The truth is: there have been nearly countless reports about how the water levels at Lake Mead and Lake Powell are historically low. Droughts, megadroughts, aridification and dangerous flash floods – the aftermath of destructive forest fires – have resulted in thousands of TV, magazine, radio and social media posts during the past year.
Despite all of the news, there still are people who go about their daily lives, relatively unaware of the importance of water and the crucial value it holds to everyone – until, of course, it isn’t available. Realizing the role of water and learning how it impacts nearly every aspect of people’s day-to-day lives is the message behind the annual “Imagine a Day without Water” event.
This year, the day of action is scheduled for Oct. 20 nationwide. Organizers categorize the event as a national education campaign that brings together diverse stakeholders to highlight how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. This year, events, resolutions, student contests, social media engagement, and more, will take place across the country.
Imagine a Day without Water isn’t limited to water and wastewater providers and agencies. It also has garnered participation from mayors, local officials, contractors, civil engineers, schools, aquariums and others. Last year, more than 1,400 organizations and people took part in the event, using various platforms to reach millions via social media. About 1,200 participated in 2020.
Last year, more than 20 Colorado water suppliers participated, including Aurora Water, Castle Rock, Denver Water, Colorado Springs Utilities, Greeley Water, Colorado Water Center, Colorado Department of Local Affairs and the City of Grand Junction, to name a few.
For those thinking about joining the 2022 campaign, free sign-ups are available at: imagineadaywithoutwater.org. The website also offers a variety of ideas and tools to help promote this October’s event. They include:
- Social media campaigns and tips.
- Hosting an online or in-person event.
- Getting the subject of water into the local news.
- Working with local mayors and elected officials, getting bipartisan participation for proclamations, resolutions and legislation for the day.
- Sponsor art contests, interactive displays and other activities in local schools, engaging students on the importance of the subject.
The Imagine a Day without Water website also has graphics, ideas, past projects and other information that can help with developing plans for this year. The eighth annual Imagine a Day without Water event is organized by the U.S. Water Alliance.