Two days have passed since World Water Day and what has transpired? World Water Day was widely acknowledged by the world, even the Hubble telescope. Just check out the hashtag at Twitter to see for yourself: #WorldWaterDay. If Twitter is not your thing, do a Google search for “World Water Day 2021” and then click news or images. This beautiful photo is one I came across in my Google search.
The world values water in many different ways. Much attention was drawn to the plight of the billions who do not have access to it. There is the most basic issue of water for survival. Beyond survival, water is needed to for health and hygiene; safe water to drink and hand-washing to stay healthy, especially in during this pandemic. Multiple water-related disease pathways can be broken by hand-washing, if water is available. A topic that appeared often was concern about water scarcity. I have not written about this (yet).
There is growing recognition for water gaps in the US and a need to invest in our water infrastructure. On World Water Day, several organizations took action to support this effort. The EPA announced that it is celebrating World Water Day by making $2.7 billion available for infrastructure projects that help provide safe drinking water and protect surface waters in communities. An additional $12 million in grants will be available to help wastewater utilities that serve small, rural, and tribal communities. Based on the press release, it seems like there is more support in the works, to be announced this summer.
In the meantime, the Appalachia Water Project is campaigning to extend high pressure water lines to bring hot and cold running water to 150 families. So far, they have support to reach 115. The project will work entirely within the community. If this sounds vaguely familiar, check out my blog on Water Gaps, that’s where Appalachia is listed as one of six regions that is underserved for access to water. The others are: California’s Central Valley, the Navajo Nation, Texas border colonias, the rural South, and Puerto Rico. Hopefully EPA funding will reach and help these communities.
Next week we’ll check on snowpack and water scarcity in Nevada. So, keep an eye on the weather, and hope for water falling from the sky! Miracle March is not over yet.