Water unites all of us. Can you begin to imagine a day without water? It isn’t just your personal use of water – brushing your teeth, flushing your toilet, taking a shower – though those rituals are vital. Water is also essential to a functioning economy.
An economic study released by the Value of Water Campaign earlier this year found that a single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion of economic activity at risk. But investing in water infrastructure, unfortunately, has not been a priority for decades. And the truth is, communities across the country have let those systems deteriorate for far too long.
Greenleaf Communities and its sister organization, Greenleaf Advisors, has deep experience with water resource management projects for both environmental and social well-being. Our work with the full spectrum of stakeholders, scientists, and policymakers helps to ensure that water resources will meet the needs of a growing world and the challenges of a changing climate. The Healthy Soils for Healthy Waters Initiative is dedicated to developing and expanding multidisciplinary and whole systems management practices for agricultural lands that impact our nation’s waters. Our research in Ohio and Indiana demonstrates how gypsum helps sediment and nutrients stay on the land and out of the water. Excess phosphorus and nitrogen can contribute to algal blooms much like the ones in Toledo, Ohio causing economic and social impacts through loss of recreation and a lack of drinking water for residents. Greenleaf is assisting Argonne National Laboratory in their research on perennial biomass crops and their contribution to reduced nitrogen loads. We are working with Sustainable Waters to develop a water trading platform in areas of the U.S. (i.e. California and Kansas) where water quantity is a concern.
There is no doubt about it – a day without water is a crisis. That is why we are joining with hundreds of groups across the country for Imagine a Day Without Water, because we want people to pay attention to our water systems. Water is a public health issue, it is an economic issue. No community can thrive without water, and every American deserves a safe, reliable, accessible water supply.