A Reminder on World Water Day

A flow test is completed for a proposed water supply for a school in Waslala, Nicaragua.

By Aqua President and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Franklin

Every year, the United Nations’ World Water Day serves as a reminder that access to clean, safe water is a struggle for many communities throughout the world. For 663 million people – double the number of people living in the United States – water sources may be scarce, contaminated or far away. In fact, many people trek to streams and rivers with buckets and horses to carry home enough water for just one day.

This World Water Day, I’m reflecting on Aqua America’s mission to protect and provide Earth’s most essential resource - water, and the part our employees are playing to bring quality drinking water to homes in other areas of the world.

Our efforts to make a positive difference stem from a combination of our corporate giving and volunteerism programs. It’s part of my commitment, our senior team’s commitment, and our employees’ commitment to be caring corporate citizens for the neighborhoods we serve, and those internationally that can benefit from our expertise.

So in 2016, we took our mission global and partnered with Villanova University to provide better access to water in communities in Nicaragua and Panama.  

In Nicaragua, we are working with Villanova engineering professors and students, as well as the local community, to build a water distribution system for the people in Kasquita. Currently, the 140 people living in this very isolated town use surface water from one of three nearby streams for all their needs.

A flow test is completed on the two springs that combined make up one water source for Kasquita, Nicaragua.

Aqua employees were on site in Kasquita earlier this month to participate in the groundbreaking on this project. During the trip, we worked to provide the rock base for two spring sources, which will act as the main water supply for the town, and surveyed the town to see if higher elevation homes could potentially be served by the system.

The location where our group stayed, which is home to a couple and their seven children. 

While this project will take a while to complete, we are excited at the prospect of providing a fully-functioning water distribution system to people who need it. For the people of Kasquita, this project is life-changing. Not only will it eliminate the need to use surface water, it will create a household connection to each home in the town. It’s also transformative for the Aqua employees participating in the project. They have lived and worked with the families who will be served by the water system, learning from them and listening to the appreciation they have firsthand.

The backyard and water source of a home in Kasquita, Nicaragua.

While this project is just in the beginning stages, it certainty won’t be the last project we have in Nicaragua. Aqua team members are already participating in project evaluations to provide reliable, clean water to the children’s local school centers. 

In Panama, we are working with Villanova to enhance a water system currently providing water on an alternating basis to half the population in the town of Agua Fría every other day. Over the 2016 holiday season, we provided supervision as Villanova students and local community members fixed a water collection tank, removing concerns of structural integrity and the potential for leaks. Now that the tank repairs are in place, we plan to join Villanova in an upcoming trip to Panama to replace supply lines that will allow each household in the community to have access to water each and every day.

Not only will the people of these remote regions in Nicaragua and Panama have daily access to running water in their homes, but the water will also be filtered to ensure it is potable for cooking, drinking, cleaning, bathing and so on. This eliminates any potential health risks from surface water that can be contaminated with chemicals, particulates and bacteria.

It’s important to me that we share our time, treasure and talents to make the world a better place. It’s is humbling to work with Villanova University to provide mentorship to the next generation of engineers and to bring water to more people.  Last week, four students presented their project work at a lunch n’ learn event for our employees. Hearing these budding engineers talk about how our projects are leading them down new service-oriented paths they never imagined allows us to recognize that we’re making a difference in central America, and also, in the lives of these students.

The next generation of Villanova University engineers shared their experiences with Aqua in Bryn Mawr.

Access to clean, safe water is something many of us take for granted. On World Water Day, I challenge you to consider the ways you use water, and reflect on how you can join with us to protect Earth’s most essential resource.

 

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Five Ways to Keep Your Pets Hydrated This Summer

As humans, we know that we need to drink clean water often, especially during the hot summer months. However, our pets don’t know how much water they should drink and depend on us to provide fresh and clean water for them.

Since July is National Pet Hydration Awareness month, here are a few tips for keeping your pets happy and hydrated this summer.

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/puppy-golden-retriever-dog-1207816/

1. Provide fresh water daily

You wouldn’t want to drink water that’s been sitting out all day and neither does your pet. Providing fresh and clean water at least once a day encourages your pet to drink more often. If your pet drinks a lot of water or if you work long hours, you could consider a pet drinking fountain.The fountain continuously moves the water, ensuring that it is oxygenated and clean.

2. Monitor drinking habits

Cats and dogs are made up of 80 percent water. That’s 20 percent more than humans. Your pet should drink an ounce of water for every pound that it weighs. If example if your cat weighs eight pounds, it should drink eight ounces of water a day. You can monitor this by measuring the amount of water you put into your pet’s bowl and measuring the amount of water left when you replenish it.

3. Keep them out of the heat

In 2015, July was the hottest month of the year. When you’re relaxing in the air conditioning, don’t forget about your pets! Try to keep your pets inside on hot days. If your pet is outside, give it an ample amount of cool water and ensure it is in a shady area. You can also rub your pets with a damp towel to keep them cool. 

Image: https://pixabay.com/en/cat-kitten-drink-water-mackerel-1196374/

4. Limit exercise and physical activity

Your pup probably loves and looks forward to its daily walks. On a hot day, it’s not a good idea to take your dog on a run or participate in any strenuous outdoor exercise. If you do go out, be sure to bring water for your dog to drink along the way and try to walk it in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.

5. Check for warning signs of dehydration

Cats and dogs cool down in a different way than humans. Cats sweat through their paws and dogs pant. Check for dehydration in your pets by performing the skin test. Other signs of dehydration can include fatigue, dry mouth and loss of appetite. If you suspect that your pet might be dehydrated, get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

Water is a necessity that can often be forgotten when it comes to pets. Always provide fresh and clean water and keep your pets out of the heat. Your pets will thank you! 

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Could You Imagine A Day Without Water?

How many of your daily activities require you to use water? Stop and think about it for a second. Can you imagine lasting an entire day without any water to perform the most basic of tasks, like washing your hands?

 

We use water for a lot more than just drinking. We use it to do our laundry, make coffee, upkeep our yards, clean ourselves, clean just about everything else and much more. To increase awareness around responsible water usage — and how lucky we are to have access to safe, clean water — from October 6 through October 8, we want you to imagine a day without water.

 

These days are a time to think about water’s importance in our lives and to reflect upon what we can do to conserve our most essential resource.

 

Change starts at the smallest level, and you can imagine a day without water just by changing some of your daily habits and practices at home. Our WaterSmart Tips page is a great place to start with plenty of everyday tips on how to reduce your water usage and value how we use water in our lives: 

 

      Brush your teeth without running your sink

      Check your home’s pipes and faucets for leaks, which can account for wasting up to 140 gallons of water per week

      Sweep the driveway instead of using a hose

      Time your showers! Your household can even make a game out of challenging one another to take the shortest and most efficient shower

 

See? There are plenty of ways for you to get involved!

 

At Aqua, we act as stewards of the environment. We value water immensely, and we’re dedicated to raising awareness about its importance to every aspect of our lives. By joining forces with people around the country to imagine a day without water, we’re hoping to remind both our customers and ourselves of how fortunate we are to have reliable access to water. How will you imagine a day without water? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!

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