We sat down with Harold Glaser, our COO of Water/Infrastructure to talk about the value of water and investing in American water infrastructure.
“In a 2018 National Poll, 95% of Americans agree that investing in water infrastructure is somewhat, very, or extremely important. Now, when it seems like there is evenly divided disagreement on most all subjects, there is little controversy or debate over the need for investment in water infrastructure.
I once heard George Hawkins, the former CEO and General Manager of DC Water (the utility which serves Washington, DC) speak at a meeting of AMWA (Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies). He is well known for his responses to these questions: “How many jobs are supported by DC Water, and how many lives?” His answer: “All of them.” That response really made me think beyond the capital projects, engineering and construction work, and the investments required.
Business people are trained to think in terms of return on investment, which can be an elusive concept for many in the general public. This is because much of the supply and distribution systems which serve their water are not visible or easily understood or appreciated. Mr. Hawkins’ oft-repeated and quoted points hit me like a ton of bricks because of the simple fact that water supports all jobs and all life. I had never thought about investments in water that way before.
Going beyond the value of water, I could also argue that it would be very difficult to find anything that 95% of Americans can agree on. It’s not a stretch in thinking about that astronomical degree of support, to the thought that those polled also cannot imagine a day without water.”
-Harold Glaser, COO WIBU