World Water Day: How AQUALIS Values Water
by Erin Zaske, Chief Development Officer
Every year, World Water Day is celebrated March 22 to appreciate the essential element of life: water. Since the first World Water Day in 1993, the United Nations has used this day to raise awareness that 2.2 billion people are living without access to clean water. Water is required for drinking, sanitation, agriculture, power production and maintaining ecosystems. The goal of World Water Day is to generate meaningful conversations around the context and value of water between communities across the globe. In recent years, the importance of access to clean water has been highlighted in actions and regulations across the globe.
The U.N.’s goal of providing global access to water and sanitation began with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2000, 189 countries, including the U.S., sat down to end extreme poverty of all forms within the new millennium. They developed eight goals and a timeline of 15 years to tackle a variety of issues including extreme hunger, education, gender equality and child mortality. After a decade and a half of hard work, poverty in many forms was reduced by nearly half, but more still needed to be done. This time 193 countries joined together and in September 2015 and developed 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to continue the fight. While all 17 goals intersect, the importance of water is highlighted in Sustainable Development Goal 6: clean water and sanitation.
"Clean water is a basic human need, and one that should be easily accessible to all. There is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. However, due to poor infrastructure, investment and planning, every year millions of people — most of them children — die from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene." - U.N.
This World Water Day AQUALIS would like to honor SDG 6 by showcasing how our work values water through five different perspectives.
- Valuing water sources
All water comes from the environment, and it always returns to the environment. AQUALIS works to maintain the local water cycle by allowing stormwater to be managed on-site and restore pre-development hydraulic function while minimizing flood risk. On-site stormwater management can also help reduce pollution by incorporating physical and chemical filtration to remove contaminants that would otherwise flow into local watersheds. We incorporate our strong passion for the protection of water and the environment into all our work.
- Valuing water infrastructure
AQUALIS helps inspect, maintain and retrofit water infrastructure including stormwater and wastewater lift station systems. Aging infrastructure is extremely at risk in the U.S. due to increasing populations, expanding urban development, and threatening climate change, action is required to protect communities from flooding, sewage backups and reduced access to clean water. AQUALIS services various water resource infrastructure day-in and day-out, providing essential work to stabilizing and delivering clean water to watersheds across the nation.
- Valuing water services
Water plays an important role in all our lives and proper treatment and sanitation of wastewater remain essential. AQUALIS is committed to deliver quality water to communities through treatment solutions involving stormwater and sanitation. Our comprehensive lift station program enriches municipalities to maintain frequent inspections and address deficiencies to ensure systems run as designed as to not interrupt or disturb water services in the community.
- Valuing water as an input to production and socio-economic activity
Agriculture, the energy industry, and corporations have the largest impact on water consumption and degradation globally. Protecting watersheds from dangers including fertilizers, heat pollution, and trash is a vital part of stormwater management. Yearly, AQUALIS removes 1,050 tons of trash from the environment that without elimination could have reached bodies of water that are used for recreation or consumption and ultimately harmed humans, animals and the ecosystem. Maintaining stormwater systems means protecting the local environment and community from these dangerous pollutants.
- Valuing socio-cultural aspects of water
As a water resource management organization, water remains the sole focus of our services. Water is woven into our society and in some cases taken for granted. According to the 2020 Water Main Report, an entity of the American Public Media, 85% of people indicate water plays a meaningful role in their life. We approach each project and client with a holistic awareness of how managing water impacts the watersheds serve. Through our education programs and outreach, we strive to drive that emotional connection for property owners to take action in managing their stormwater and lift station assets.
Two years ago, the employees at AQUALIS created our mission, to inspire change by preserving and protecting our most precious natural resource: water. Through our public education programs with regulators and industry leaders, enhanced Quality Assurance Programs and investment in our team's continuing education, AQUALIS remains focused on our vision by educating communities about their responsibility to respective watersheds to foster an environment with clean water now and for future generations.
Take this day to reflect on all the benefits water brings to you and explore ways you can show your thanks by continuing to protect this valuable resource.