Committing to a Sustainable Water Future for All
Wednesday, October 21st marks the sixth annual Imagine a Day Without Water event, a national education campaign dedicated to appreciating the way water systems impact our lives and communities. Water companies are responsible for many things that you may not even know about — like taking care of the environment and ensuring sustainability for generations to come.
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, $144 billion in investment funds are needed between now and 2040 to ensure the nation’s water systems can continue to provide safe and reliable service. California alone will require $39 billion in water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years. SJW, along with other water utilities statewide, faces these same challenges. Much of our local water system infrastructure was constructed more than 50 years ago, and has reached the end of its useful life.SJW takes its commitment to infrastructure seriously and invests about $100 million per year towards our distribution system.
Throughout the country, as devastating natural disasters become more frequent due to climate change, we cannot afford to wait until current systems fail. California, in particular, faces increasing threats from drought and wildfires that threaten our critical water systems. As we have seen with the coronavirus pandemic, widespread access to water plays a critical role in protecting public health, safeguarding the environment, and ensuring a healthy economy.
In order to protect public health and safety, and to deliver safe and reliable water service, SJW must continue to replace and upgrade water system components such as new water mains, tanks, wells and treatment plants. SJW has multiple projects in the works to better and more sustainably serve our customers, but we encourage you to continue to conserve water and be prepared for an emergency.
You may be aware of PG&E’s plans to shut down electrical power to parts of the state as a precaution against wildfires under certain weather conditions. This happened several times in 2019 and for the first time in 2020 recently. SJW relies on this power to deliver safe and reliable water service throughout our approximately 140-square mile service area, so any interruption to power supplies could impact our usual operations. While we have prepared for these events by investing in infrastructure, back-up power, and control systems, your conservation efforts during a power shutoff reduces the need to operate fossil-fuel powered generators and pumps, as well as ensure that water tanks are kept full to meet fire-protection needs.
In addition to water conservation efforts, this is a great time to take stock of your own emergency preparedness. We encourage all of our customers to keep a minimum of three days’ worth of water per person on hand. Life-sustaining, clean water is something everyone should always have access to.
At San Jose Water, you don’t need to worry about what comes out of your tap. With a few key steps, your family can be prepared for the unexpected. To learn more about emergency preparedness, please visit our Emergency Preparedness page.
San Jose Water (SJW) has been providing residents and businesses with access to clean, safe, and reliable drinking water for more than 150 years.