Tag Archives: Water supply

Amusing Monday: What would your day be like without water?

Wednesday of this week is a national day of action in which people are asked to “Imagine a Day Without Water.” The annual event was launched in 2015 to increase appreciation for the water we enjoy in our everyday lives.

It’s a serious subject, but one that can be approached with a sense of humor, as you can see from the videos I’ve tracked down.

In the event’s initial year, participants included nearly 200 organizations, from water and wastewater providers to public officials, business leaders, environmental organizations, schools and more.

City councils passed resolutions; water and wastewater utilities offered tours; and school teachers asked their students to find ways they could imagine a day without water. The initial event was declared a success, and by last year the number of participants had grown to 750 organizations.

I didn’t attempt to count the number of participants who have signed up so far this year — the fourth year of the event — but the list is long and still growing. Check out the list of those involved on the participant webpage, or join the celebration by filling out a form on the sign-up webpage.

“Imagine a Day Without Water” is affiliated with the Value of Water Campaign and the US Water Alliance, which was formed to advance policies and programs for a sustainable future with water.

A recent survey (PDF 2 mb) conducted for the Value of Water Campaign found that nearly nine in ten Americans support increasing federal funding for water infrastructure, including piping networks, water storage systems and treatment plants. Other reports and fact sheets can be found on the resource webpage of the Value of Water Campaign.

The videos on this page get right to the heart of the issue when it comes to the things we value in our everyday use of water. I have a hard time getting off to a good start in the morning without a shower, and it should come as no surprise that I am enjoying a cup of coffee as I write these lines.

On the serious side, you might not want to know what happens to your body if you don’t drink water for seven days. It isn’t very pleasant, but you can check out the video on the Bright Side Channel. An average person drinks about 264 gallons of water a year, according to the video, but the physiological effects begin in the first day without water.

A video by the US Water Alliance outlines some of the major water issues facing this country.

Beginning in 2016, the water utility in Kansas City, Mo., started asking individuals involved in public and private enterprises about their use of water. Their answers provide an interesting and informative mosaic about what Kansas City would lose if it didn’t have water:

Kitsap’s future involves sharing water resources

Sharing water resources over a wide region is an idea that goes hand-in-hand with the Growth Management Act’s strategy of concentrating population in urban areas while protecting rural areas.

Of course, the first level of action is water conservation. But the ability to take water from one aquifer with an adequate water supply while protecting an overtaxed aquifer somewhere else makes a lot of sense.

That’s the idea behind building new pipelines to connect numerous water systems across a good portion of Kitsap County, including Silverdale. I described the latest steps in this plan in a story published in Monday’s Kitsap Sun.

Rainfall

Thirty years ago — before the Growth Management Act was passed — I recall talking to folks at the Kitsap Public Utility District, who declared that they were not in the land-use business and had no intention of getting involved in land-use battles. It was the job of the Kitsap County commissioners to decide where to put the growth, they said. The PUD staff and commissioners believed their role was to provide water for the growing population, wherever it goes. Check out this Kitsap Sun story from Feb. 25, 2001.

The state’s Municipal Water Law of 2003 clarified that the KPUD could deliver water from one place to another throughout its service area — which is all of Kitsap County. That allows water to be brought to developed areas in North Kitsap, where annual rainfall is half of what we see in the forested areas of Southwest Kitsap, where the Seabeck aquifer is located. (See annual precipitation map on this page.)

Many environmentalists have objected to certain portions of the Municipal Water Law, especially sections that included developers as municipal water suppliers — a move they say opens the door for abuse by financial interests.

One of the big concerns in water management is that pumping too much from an aquifer — especially a shallow aquifer — could disrupt the subsurface flows and springs that maintain stream levels in the summer and early fall. Adequate streamflows are needed for many species, not the least of which are salmon.

With adequate monitoring, as needed for planning, experts can track groundwater levels and streamflows to avoid such problems. Pipelines allow aquifers to be “rested” when needed. And elected PUD commissioners can be held accountable for their decisions regarding the regional management of water.

Future water supplies and the right to use the water constitute one of the most complicated issues in environmental law. A 2003 paper by the Washington Department of Ecology, called “Mitigation Measures Used in Water Rights Permitting” outlines some of the methods being used to protect natural systems and competing water rights. Mitigation for use of the Seabeck aquifer, which is an important water supply in Kitsap County, is described briefly on pages 19 and 20.

Time to reflect on drinking water quality, history

This week is National Drinking Water Week, a chance to recognize the high quality of water we drink in the United States and how we built and maintain the amazing storage and piping networks.

The video at right shows some interesting pictures of water systems in Kitsap County. It takes a bit of reading to get through it, but the video reminds us that the area — and most areas — started out with many surface-water systems and now relies mostly on groundwater.

The history of Bremerton’s water system, which still includes a highly protected surface-water supply on the Union River, is described briefly on the city’s website.

Drinking Water Week is a chance to review the water quality of our own drinking water, at least for those of us on public water systems. The EPA requires most systems to provide information to their customers once a year. Accessing this information at other times is not always easy, although most of the larger systems post the required water-quality data on their websites.

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