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National Drinking Water Week: May 3-9, 2015

Logo for National Drinking Water Week 2015.
More than 35 years ago, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its members started Drinking Water Week, held annually during the first full week in May. Over the years, it has grown into an event celebrated across the United States and Canada, with the primary focus being to join together water professionals and the communities they serve in recognizing the vital role water plays in our daily lives.

This year's theme is "What Do You Know About H2O?" Did you know that water is a finite resource? What water there is on the planet today is all the water there ever was and ever will be. Water is continuously recycled, condensing and falling as precipitation, running off land into various waterbodies, infiltrating the ground, and returning to the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration. This process, known as the water cycle, is what allows for the replenishment and distribution of the Earth's water supply, which sustains our lives. 

Did you know that DRBC has been a steward for the management of our shared interstate waters for more than 50 years and has long recognized the importance and value of using water wisely and protecting public water supplies? DRBC's Water Quality Regulations (pdf 885 KB) include standards that protect various uses of the waters of the Delaware River Basin and its ambitious water conservation program includes requirements for metering, leak detection and repair programs, water conservation plans, and water conservation performance standards for plumbing fixtures. DRBC is an U.S. EPA Water Sense Partner, which is a nationwide program that aims to protect and conserve our water resources and infrastructure by promoting water efficient products and services and information sharing to help people use water more efficiently.

Did you know that an average of 6 billion gallons of water each day is taken from water resources but never reaches the customer? In the DRB, these losses are estimated at about 150 million gallons a day, mainly due to leaky or damaged infrastructure. DRBC addresses this issue through its water audit program, which requires water suppliers to track how effectively water is moved from its source to customers' taps and quantify losses using AWWA's Free Water Audit Software©, a recognized best practice approach. The water audit requirement helps decrease water demand at the source, reduce treatment costs, and improve system efficiency. DRBC is one of only a handful of regulators in the U.S. that has made the AWWA methodology a regulatory requirement, further highlighting its leadership in water resources management, water supply planning, and conservation efforts. All these responsibilities are important because over 15 million people rely on the waters of the Delaware River Basin, which is about 1 in every 20 Americans! 

While National Drinking Water Week is only celebrated one week of the year, it serves as an important reminder that water is an essential resource and should be protected and conserved. We all can do our part - however big or small - to ensure that there is a sustainable water supply for today's needs, as well as for future generations.