American Water Works Association (AWWA)

AWWA launches `Only Tap Water Delivers` campaign Media, grassroots effort highlights value of tap water service

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Source: American Water Works Association (AWWA)

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) May 10, 2006 - A campaign launched today by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) inspires consumers and community leaders to consider what 'Only Tap Water Delivers' in their lives and reminds them of the need to reinvest in their community water systems.

AWWA announced its 'Only Tap Water Delivers' campaign alongside U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) officials at a public event in Washington, D.C. The campaign highlights the value of water service in terms of public health protection, fire protection, support for the economy and overall quality of life. It also encourages wise community stewardship of water pipes and facilities to ensure they continue to serve future generations.

'We are all stewards of the water infrastructure that generations before handed down to us,' said Jack W. Hoffbuhr, executive director of AWWA. 'The network of reservoirs, pipes and treatment facilities are the lifeblood of our communities. Only tap water delivers public health protection, fire protection, support for the economy and the overall quality of life we enjoy. The Only Tap Water Delivers campaign brings the conversation about the value of water service and infrastructure above ground.'

At today's event, AWWA distributed printed materials associated with the campaign to consumers and handed out drink-holders imprinted with the words, 'This Drink Made with Tap Water,' highlighting the fact that tap water is the first ingredient in countless products used every day. This summer, AWWA will distribute an 'Only Tap Water Delivers' CD/DVD package to its member utilities, who serve more than 80 percent of the people served by community water systems. Materials will include a speech, video, radio PSA, key messages, consumer handouts and a series of print ads.

The City of Durham (NC), Department of Water Management, placed an 'Only Tap Water Delivers' ad in the city's local newspaper, the Durham Herald-Sun, last Sunday, becoming the first utility to implement the campaign ads. Sunday's ad, the first of four the City of Durham will place this month, featured a water faucet and the words, 'Do you know how often you turn me on?' The ad text points out how tap water is used in everyday life and underscores the importance of caring for water systems.

AWWA took its 'Only Tap Water Delivers' campaign to U.S. Congress in March 29-30, distributing 'Only Tap Water Delivers' materials during more than 300 meetings with Congressional representatives and staffs.

'Only Tap Water Delivers' builds off of a series of AWWA reports over the past five years. The first report, Dawn of the Replacement Era (2001), defined the growing concern over aging water infrastructure and the need for reinvestment. The second, Avoiding Rate Shock (2004), found that many people 'undervalue' water and provided water utilities with tools to communicate with elected leaders and consumers about the need for rates that reflect the full cost of water service. A third report, Thinking Outside the Bill (2004), provides innovative ideas to help soften the impact of higher water rates on low-income citizens. A new report, Water Infrastructure at a Turning Point (2006), to be published in June 2006, helps water utilities communicate the need for asset management strategies to public officials and consumers.

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