Imagine a Day Without Water (Oct. 21) is a day to pause and reflect on the many ways that water and water systems impact our lives and communities, and to commit to ensuring a sustainable water future for generations to come. This year, our country faced an enormous public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic. This crisis demonstrated the critical role that water, and wastewater systems play in our communities, protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, and making a healthy economy possible.
Every day, many people in Hawai‘i don’t give a second thought about where their drinking water comes from or how it is delivered to the kitchen faucet, garden hose or washing machine. Safe, clean drinking water is so important in our lives, but many of us take this for granted. “Imagine a day without water from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed,” DLNR Chairperson Suzanne Case said, “no water to brush your teeth or take a shower. No water to brew your morning cup of coffee. No water at work to wash your hands or flush the toilet – that would be an inconvenient day!”
A day without water is also a public health and safety crisis. Without water for cleaning, washing, and sanitizing – health care workers, first responders, and front-line workers would not be able to effectively do their jobs. Much of Hawai‘i’s water infrastructure is aging and in need of repair or replacement. Sea level rise is also threatening and compromising existing infrastructure. Without investment, water and wastewater systems will continue to deteriorate, leading to serious consequences for public health and the economy.
While water infrastructure is important, protecting Hawai‘i’s only source of freshwater is just as important. Maintaining healthy native forests and watersheds and ensuring the sustainability of our aquifers and streams will enable our public water systems to continue to provide life giving water to our residents across the State. “We must make sure that we protect our streams and ground water so that future generations may enjoy and benefit from this most precious of natural resources,” explained Commission on Water Resource Management Deputy, Kaleo Manuel, “ola i ka wai, water is life.”
“Our native forests and healthy watersheds not only ensure a robust and resilient water supply, but they also provide critical habitat to endemic species, promote biological diversity, and offer beautiful recreational space,” continued Case. “That’s why we protect and nurture our forested watersheds.” Imagine a Day Without Water is an opportunity to share why water is important to you, your business, your community. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts on why you value and cherish water in your lives with a loved one, friend, or associate.
Please tune in to a Facebook Live One Water Forum on October 21, 2020 at 12:00 noon. Panelists from State and County government will talk about how all water is connected in Hawai‘i and what this means for managing our precious water resources into the future. Panelists will answer questions from the public: https://www.facebook.com/HawaiiDLNR/
For more information on Imagine a Day Without Water please visit: https://imagineadaywithoutwater.org/.