Many people don’t have to imagine a day without water, because their communities already lack adequate drinking water and sanitation.
In 2015, the US Water Alliance’s Value of Water Coalition organized Imagine a Day Without Water, a day of action to sound the alarm about the invisible water infrastructure crisis. Organized around principles of the One Water movement ─ water equity, water affordability, and sustainable, integrated water management ─ the campaign promotes equity in investment.
This year, the national day of action on Oct. 20 brings together communities and policymakers to stand with those who lack adequate drinking water and sanitation. Such communities often are remote and marginalized.
Seven Seas and AUC Group are observing the day of action by bringing into focus the obstacles to proper water infrastructure.
Water for All Communities
While the recent water crisis in Jackson, Miss., may have come as a shock to some, the American Water Works Association warned of the coming “replacement era” more than 20 years ago. In the next decade, a century’s worth of water and wastewater infrastructure will reach the end of its service life. While areas with access to capital probably will replace their obsolete infrastructure before significant service gaps occur, areas with less access may feel they have no choice but to hope catastrophe doesn’t strike.
Even if financing is secured and infrastructure commissioned, it’s not the end of the story. Philanthropies, grants, and private investment often focus on infrastructure delivery with little thought for ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M). That’s key in communities with few organizational resources, especially as processes are becoming more technical and water workforce numbers are plummeting.
Seven Seas’ Water-as-a-Service® (WaaS®) offers financing structures that can maximize capital and even deliver water infrastructure with no initial investment to communities with little access to investment capital. Those financing structures include public-private partnership, build-own-operate, and build-own-operate-transfer options. Expert, long-term O&M is included, so the challenge of keeping infrastructure healthy through the decades is handled by water professionals.
Making Water Systems Affordable
Decentralization, placing smaller, scaled-to-fit plants adjacent to need, offers a new way to keep water prices down. Decentralization can cut the cost of a project in half from pipe savings alone. Shorter pipelines mean that the expense of loan payments, leak detection and repair, and pumping can be largely avoided.
Paradoxically, affordable water actually may cost more. When water becomes an issue in local politics, artificially low pricing can result, so when repairs are needed, the funds aren’t there. Costly infrastructure then must be replaced far sooner than it should have been.
We offer decentralized solutions, and WaaS® performance-based contracts settle pricing upfront. Clients pay only for the water services they use, and infrastructure is kept in good working order.
Sustainable Water Management
Integrated water management follows the One Water principle that all water has value, whether stormwater, traditional source water, wastewater, or brackish water. WaaS® offers exactly this method of sustainable, integrated water management.
Our complete water cycle solutions offer ways to make the most of every water source, easing the pressure on natural water resources and allowing water tables and reservoir levels to rise.
At Seven Seas, everything is focused on the vision of supporting water-stressed regions and helping build and maintain critical water infrastructure in the United States and around the world. No community should be without water and sanitation, and we’re making new, updated infrastructure available, even in remote, underserved communities. Contact us to learn more about WaaS®, and discover ways to participate in the Oct. 20 day of action by visiting the Imagine a Day Without Water resource page.
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