97% of the earth's water is found in oceans and seas, and 2% is frozen in icecaps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% available for treatment and delivery for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Contrary to popular belief, water is a finite resource, and steps must be taken today to ensure an adequate supply for the future.
Sustainability issues, which include climate change, population growth and continued land development, are an important concern. Our professionals are working in a variety of ways to help ensure an adequate supply of water for years to come.
Conservation and Alternate Supply Development:
We actively work to promote wise water use and help our customers understand how they can conserve water in their homes and businesses. Basic strategies include understanding how to reduce water usage and protect against water leaks. We are also using technology to reclaim and recycle water in a number of high-profile residential and commercial buildings, treatment plants and sports facilities across the country.
We are working to find new water sources in areas where supply is low, or in some cases non-existent. Our teams of engineers and scientists have had recent success in Kentucky and Arizona with engineering solutions that tap into new water sources for those drought-threatened regions.
Investment in Infrastructure:
The country's water infrastructure is aging, with many pipes approaching or past the end of their useful life. The 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, released by the American Society of Civil Engineers, gave water and wastewater infrastructure in the country a D-minus grade. Additional funds are necessary to adequately maintain, repair and replace the nation's network of pipes. In order to do this we invest approximately $1 billion each year in capital investment and infrastructure improvements. Investing in the future and being able to anticipate water supply issues in advance is crucial to being able to provide top-level service to our customers.
Discovery and Development of New Technologies:
Technology and innovation are becoming more and more important every day as they offer solutions to current and future water supply issues.
Desalination and water reuse are two methods we have championed and now use every day. Our seawater desalination facility in Tampa Bay, Florida, is currently serving thousands of people. And our reuse systems in residential buildings such as The Solaire in New York City, and commercial buildings such as Gillette Stadium, in Foxboro, Massachusetts, are examples of success in innovation and technology. To learn more, please visit www.amwatersolutions.com.
For information about our approach to corporate responsibility, please visit www.amwater.com/corporate-responsibility.