Picture your everyday routine: you wake up, wash your face and brush your teeth. Your coffee is brewing as you hop in the shower. Before rushing out the door to work, you whip up an egg for breakfast and throw together a salad for lunch. Soon, you’re on your way to begin a productive day – just your daily, normal routine. Now let’s think back for a minute – can you imagine getting ready for the day without water? If you find it difficult to imagine getting through your morning routine, try to imagine an entire day without it.
Today, K&A is joining elected officials, water utilities, community leaders, educators and businesses from across the country as part of the fifth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Campaign, organizations from across the country are raising awareness about not taking water for granted and the crucial need for investment in our nation’s water systems.
Water is used in many ways and by many industries – it is a critical element of our health and safety. Without water, the agriculture industry would not be able to grow their crops, hospitals would not be able to function, and firefighters would not be able to put out fires, just to name a few. We would not have the simple luxuries of taking a shower, flushing our toilets, doing laundry or even enjoying a cold glass of water on a hot day. I know I would not want to experience this, and I assume most of the population would agree with me.
Off-stream reservoirs, water reclamation facilities and desalination plants are all viable options for securing our water future. These projects focus on capturing water for storage, recycling and purifying water for reuse, and desalting seawater for human consumption and irrigation. By developing these additional water sources, we are creating local solutions to dwindling water supplies from drought, overuse and other impacts.
The state of California has a population of almost 40 million people and regularly faces water reliability challenges, particularly during periods of drought. There are many initiatives taking place across the state that are designed to help secure our water future. Here are a few of them:
The Sites Reservoir Project is a solution to our next drought and increases California’s water supply for drier years. Sites Reservoir does not rely on snowmelt, but instead captures winter runoff from uncontrolled streams below existing reservoirs in the Sacramento Valley. This off-stream storage facility would capture and host stormwater, then after meeting all water rights and regulatory requirements, release the stored water for environmental and community use in drier years. The reservoir would also provide the agriculture industry with a reliable water source during desperate, dry times. Sites Reservoir increases the resiliency of water supplies and is the only proposed storage facility in the State of California that will help with statewide operational effectiveness of the State Water Project and Central Valley Project.
Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant
As an efficient and successful effort to combine advanced wastewater treatment technology and a beautiful garden, the Donald C. Tillman Water Reclamation Plant irrigates the Los Angeles Japanese Garden daily, as well as provides recycled water for use in the San Fernando Valley.
Pure Water San Diego
You can drink advanced treated recycled water? Yes, you can. Pure Water San Diego is the first surface water augmentation project in California and will use proven water purification technology to clean recycled water and produce up to one-third of San Diego’s water supply locally by 2035. It’s safe, high quality and reliable.
Carlsbad Desalination Plant
Carlsbad is tapping into the largest reservoir in the world – sea water – and is using technology to serve as a dependable water supply alternative. The Carlsbad Desalination Plant is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and produces 10% of San Diego County’s water supply daily.
It’s projects like these that will keep water running through our faucets and irrigating our food supply. Some of these projects are already implemented and in the process of producing water, while others are on the horizon in this commitment to a sustainable water future.
As a Northern California native who grew up studying agriculture and experiencing all four seasons, the detrimental impact drought had on the environment and the community around me was obvious. Now, as a Southern California resident who works on water projects throughout the state, I recognize firsthand the challenges that California, and many other regions across the country, face to supply water.
A human can go without food for about three weeks, but would only survive for three days without water. Let’s implement alternative, reliable and sustainable water sources so we never have to Imagine a Day Without Water!
Sarah is an Account Executive in K&A’s San Diego office. She enjoys applying her passions of writing, strategic communication and public affairs to a variety of K&A projects in different practice areas. Sarah graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and likes to spend her free time exploring all that San Diego has to offer, traveling abroad and outdoors with family.