Raise Your Glass with Cheers to Drinking Water!
May 6-12 celebrates what is arguably the most vital use of our most precious resource: clean drinking water. So raise your glass and cheer National Drinking Water Week!
Take a moment and answer this: How many times have you turned on the tap today? As I write this, at 5:30 pm, I count eleven so far. And that's just for me. And I haven't cooked dinner yet.
In a world where millions of people die every year from waterborne diseases, and millions of others have no guarantees that they will have the water they need on any given day, we can be especially thankful that our taps are a conduit of clean, safe drinking water.
This week marks National Drinking Water Week—an opportunity to acknowledge the water we appreciate and the systems which keep that water safe. You might think about your drinking water in two ways: first, the standards that apply to it, and second, the methods by which you receive it.
As for standards, the federal Safe Drinking Water Act empowers the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) to set water quality standards limiting the amount of contaminants in our drinking water. In Idaho, the Department of Environmental Quality has responsibility for ensuring that EPA's standards are met. Without the roles these entities play, we'd have no assurance that the water we get from our taps is safe for our consumption.
As for methods, your drinking water is most likely delivered to you either via private wells or public water systems. While just 10% of us use private well water, 90% of Americans receive drinking water through public water systems, from the pipes and infrastructure that we typically don't see. Idaho has approximately 2100 of these systems, ranging from small local systems in places like campgrounds to the large infrastructure managed by entities like United Water in the Treasure Valley.
So, next time you wash your hands, brush your teeth, take a shower, or enjoy a glass of water, take a moment to think about how it got to you and recognize how lucky you are to have it!