Celebrate Drinking Water Week: May 5-11
CONCORD - The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) is celebrating drinking water from May 5-11, 2013. Governor Hassan has proclaimed the week "Drinking Water Week" in New Hampshire. The purpose of Drinking Water Week is to highlight the value of water to each of us in our everyday lives.
This year marks the 39th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act, which is a national effort to provide quality drinking water and protect the health of our citizens. New Hampshire citizens are served daily by approximately 2,400 public drinking water systems. Everyone relies on public water systems, either at home or away from home at work, school, restaurants, and public places.
During Drinking Water Week, DES is emphasizing the importance of protecting our sources of water and using water more efficiently, as well as the value, importance, and fragility of our state's water resources. DES works with drinking water utilities to make sure that the water delivered to consumers meets all federal and state standards and is clean and abundant. These efforts are vital to New Hampshire's economy and to the public health of our citizens.
The tasks facing public drinking water systems continue to be extremely challenging-especially in an era of scarce public funds. The drinking water infrastructure in many cities is aging and presents daunting financial demands. "In New Hampshire, the estimated funding need is $2.9 billion over the next 10 years for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades, repairs and replacement," according to Sarah Pillsbury, Administrator of DES's Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau.
A report issued in December 2012 recommended that the state "renew and reinvent partnerships between and among individuals, communities, state and federal governments, and the private sector to provide the necessary levels of investment" for drinking water and other water-related infrastructure. The report, New Hampshire Lives on Water, was issued by the N.H. Water Sustainability Commission, which was established in April 2011 by Governor John Lynch and was charged with identifying strategies and management measures for ensuring that the quality and quantity of New Hampshire's water resources in 25 years are as good as or better than they are today. To read the report visit: http://www.nh.gov/water-sustainability/publications/index.htm
"Today, New Hampshire renews its commitment to build on the successes of the past 39 years," noted DES's Pillsbury, "and we continue to work with all of our partners in the water community to fully realize the public health goals of the Safe Drinking Water Act through celebrating National Drinking Water Week."