In the U.S., there is concern over the sustainability of the nation’s water supply as a result of droughts, threatened supplies and continued population growth. Although some regions are already experiencing water scarcity, increasing water demand is a challenge facing the entire nation.
One of the most fundamental ways to sustain our water supplies is to promote wise water use and develop new water conservation strategies for residents, business and industry.
This includes water utilities as well. Examples of initiatives undertaken by American Water include:
- Improved Leak Detection and Repair: American Water is testing various leak detection technologies in numerous states, and to date, the program has saved millions of gallons of water.
- Investing in infrastructure: The country’s water infrastructure is aging, with many pipes approaching or past the end of their useful life. Additional funds are necessary to adequately maintain, repair and replace the nation’s network of pipes.
- Developing Alternative Supplies: There could be instances where conservation alone cannot bring supply and demand into balance. In these situations, there is a need to find new sources of water. Desalination and water reuse are two rapidly developing solutions. American Water operates the country’s largest desalination plant in Tampa, Florida, where we are helping to ensure the safe and environmentally-sound conversion of seawater to drinking water. We also recycle nearly four billion gallons of water annually—and produce reuse water at more than 80 facilities.
While these types of initiatives help, they alone will not address water shortages or the concern over the sustainability of our nation’s drinking water resources. It will require the support and active involvement of government, business and industry, and individuals. Bottom Line: Potable water is only renewable if we set sustainable use as a requirement.