A letter from Radhika Fox, CEO, US Water Alliance, Director, Value of Water Coalition
Last month, millions of people engaged in the Value of Water Coalition’s inaugural national education campaign, Imagine a Day Without Water. Because of your participation, we collectively brought together water and wastewater utilities, mayors and city councils, business leaders, advocates, educators, students, community organizations, and other like-minded allies to raise awareness about the need to invest in water infrastructure.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we launched Imagine a Day Without Water, but you all rose to the challenge. One hundred and eighty five organizations signed up to participate in Imagine a Day Without Water, far exceeding our expectations!
Major highlights included events in Atlanta and Los Angeles hosted by our Coalition members, where Mayor Reed and Mayor Garcetti both addressed the critical nature of water security. Both mayors described how unimaginable it would be for their cities to go a day without water and discussed projects underway to create a more secure water future for residents.
Across the country, cities like Beaufort, South Carolina and states like Arizona signed resolutions and proclamations about the value water. Value of Water Coalition members participated in a radio tour that reached more than 2.8 million listeners through more than 400 airplays of interviews. Several organizations wrote press releases, blogs, and opinion pieces. Philadelphia Water published an op-ed with former Governor Ed Rendell in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Water agencies and city departments partnered up with schools. Aquariums and car washes even got in on the act. We heard from residents in Durham, North Carolina and business owners in Kansas City, Missouri about how terrible a day without water would be. New Jersey American Water recruited local graphic design students to develop memes for the campaign.
Thousands of social media accounts shared our message about the importance of investing in water infrastructure. We organized a “Thunderclap” to spread the same social media message across Twitter and Facebook accounts simultaneously on Tuesday, October 6th. It worked: our message reached 600,000 social media users. In total, our #ValueWater and #ImagineADayWitoutWater hashtags received more than 6 million impressions on Twitter.
From television to Twitter, millions of Americans called for investment in water. If you joined us this year, thank you so much for your participation. Imagine a Day Without Water was a huge success because of you.
The US Water Alliance is proud to coordinate the Value of Water Coalition, an unprecedented collaboration of water leaders who are educating and inspiring the nation about how water is essential and needs investment. Stay tuned, we have lots of great work planned for 2016 and we look forward to partnering with you!
CEO, US Water Alliance
Director, Value of Water Coalition