Water Matters: A review of current drinking water trends and issues from AWWA

The American Water Works Association focuses on water use on Mothers Day and more.

May 9th, 2003


May 9, 2003 -- The American Water Works Association focuses on water use on Mothers Day and more.

Mothers Day is always considered one of the most pleasant days of Spring. What could be better? Celebrating mom, Sunday brunch, springtime flowers, and the smell of fresh cut grass.

Here's something we here at AWWA also discovered.... Mother's Day also consumes water.... lots of water!

Did you know that if mothers refresh their floral arrangements and flowering plants during the Mothers' Day week, they will use 2,835,000 gallons of water. That's equivalent to the amount needed to supply a week's worth of water to 1,157 households.

Here's some other things about water you might find interesting.

* Of all the earth's water, 97% is salt water found in oceans and seas.

* Only 1% of the earth's water is available for drinking water. Two percent is currently frozen.

* About two thirds of the human body is water. Some parts of the body contain more water than others. For example, 70% of your skin is water.

* There are more than 56,000 community water systems providing water to the public in the United States.

* There are approximately 1 million miles of pipelines and aqueducts that carry water in the United States and Canada. That's enough to circle the earth 40 times.

* Typically, households consume at least 50% of their water by lawn watering. Inside, toilets use the most water, with an average of 27 gallons per person per day.

* You can survive about a month without food, but only 5 to 7 days without water.

* Each person uses about 100 gallons of water a day at home.

* The average five-minute shower takes between 15 to 25 gallons of water.

* You can refill an 8 oz glass of water approximately 15,000 times for the same cost as a six-pack of soda.

* An automatic dishwasher uses approximately 9 to 12 gallons of water while hand washing dishes can use up to 20 gallons.

* 300 million gallons of water are needed to produce a single day's supply of U.S. newsprint.

* A person should consume 2 1/2 quarts of water per day (from all sources of water, food, etc.) to maintain health.

You can find this and other interesting facts about water by visiting the AWWA consumer water center located at http://www.awwa.org/Advocacy/learn/index.cfm


Water Associations to hold press conference Monday at National Press Club to oppose legislation protecting MTBE and Ethanol water polluters

Water utilities and consumers would be at risk of having to cover possibly billions of dollars in water contamination cleanup and source replacement costs if two pieces of legislation are enacted. The legislation (H.R. 6 and S. 791) provides liability immunity to the producers of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethanol.

The Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) and the American Water Works Association (AWWA), who together represent drinking water systems serving approximately 180 million Americans, are actively opposing both pieces of legislation. Officials representing the associations will hold a press conference at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 12, 2003 at the East Room of the National Press Club located in downtown Washington, D.C. at 529 14th Street.

The House energy bill, H.R. 6, provides the makers of the fuel additives MTBE and ethanol "safe harbor" from product liability suits. S. 791, likely to become part of the Senate energy bill, S. 14, does the same for ethanol producers. If enacted, these provisions would prevent water systems from bringing product liability claims demanding producers of these fuel additives to clean up contaminated water supplies and pay for the acquisition of new sources of drinking water, and producers will have little incentive to so on their own. Instead, water suppliers and consumers will be unfairly forced to pay the bill.


Annual Drinking Water Week celebration comes to an end

This week, communities throughout America celebrated Drinking Water Week, an annual event sponsored by AWWA and local water utilities designed to educate citizens about the vital role water plays in their daily lives.

"A safe, pure, and uninterrupted flow of drinking water remains a commitment of the drinking water profession," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "We celebrate Drinking Water Week knowing that North America's water ranks among the cleanest and safest supplies in the world."

This year's theme, "The Wonder of Water" focused on several issues including water conservation, water security, water infrastructure and water quality. For more information on these and other water-related issues, visit the AWWA press web site at http://www.awwa.org/Advocacy/pressroom/


Drinking Water Security in America After 9/11 report released

According to a new report issued last week by the American Water Works Association, (AWWA) America's water utilities' immense focus on homeland security since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 has resulted in an unprecedented mobilization of effort and resources to protect America's water supply.

The new report, Drinking Water Security in America After 9/11, identifies the extensive new security measures water utilities have undertaken since 9/11. It also describes the new culture of security that water utilities now operate under and the challenges they still face in protecting the nation's water supplies from terrorism. For a copy of the full report, go to http://www.awwa.org/advocacy/Water Security in America Final.pdf


How do consumers know their water is safe?

In these times of increasing security concerns and a rapidly growing bottled water market, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) concludes National Drinking Water Week by providing consumers with tips on how to determine if their drinking water is safe. Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water per day, and finding information on the safety of this water is easier than consumers may think.

"Each year in July local utilities release water quality reports, or Consumer Confidence Reports, free of charge to their customers, outlining in detail where the local water comes from and what levels of contaminants, if any, are in the water," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "These reports are an excellent source of information for consumers who have concerns about their local tap water."

In addition to the annual water quality reports, local water utilities can provide consumers with specific answers about local water supplies, quality, and treatment technologies. Treatment methods used, such as chlorine disinfection, have been cited by the Centers for Disease Control as one of the 20th century's 10 most important public health accomplishments, and these methods help to ensure quality, safety, and taste of drinking water.

Learn more about drinking water visiting AWWA online.


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