Tomorrow, Sept. 15, the Value of Water Coalition is challenging all of us to imagine what would happen if we turned on our tap and nothing came out. More than 200 organizations have signed up for Imagine a Day Without Water, pledging to raise awareness about the value of water and the need for investment in water infrastructure.
I was thinking about this challenge this morning as I was getting ready for work, and I would also encourage you to think more critically about the water you use in a day. Just this morning I used water from my shower, toilet, and two sinks. I also realized I’m unconsciously mindful about my water consumption, taking short showers and turning off the faucet when I brush my teeth.
I attended a conference recently where one speaker admitted to leaving the water running when he brushes his teeth, and I was taken aback. From a young age, Barney taught me that when I’m “brushing my teeth and having so much fun” I should “never let the water run,” and, strange as it may seem, I often think of this tune when I’m standing at the sink and turn off the tap. Although the song is silly, it clearly made an impression and illustrates the importance of teaching responsible water practices from a young age.
I realize that not running the tap for the two minutes it takes me to brush my teeth is not going to solve our nation’s water problems, but it’s a small step in reducing my overall water consumption. Imagining a day without water won’t cause an overnight change in the water landscape, but it may be a small step in opening the public’s eyes to the importance of water, and help all of us be a little more grateful for this resource that we often take for granted.