NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has proclaimed Oct. 23 as Imagine a Day Without Water Day as part of a national effort to raise awareness about the importance of water in our quality of life and the importance of educating the public about the value of water.
This is the fifth year of the Imagine a Day Without Water campaign, led by the U.S. Water Alliance, a national nonprofit organization that represents utilities, public officials, the business community, environmental organizations, community leaders, policy organizations, and researchers.
“We are blessed in Tennessee to have an abundance of water, but we must never take our water for granted,” Lee said. “We are working to drive home the importance of water infrastructure, especially in our rural communities. We hope Imagine a Day Without Water Day will remind all Tennesseans of this valuable resource and the importance of managing our water supply.”
Tennessee has 60,000 miles of rivers and streams, high quality aquifers, and groundwater along with 100,000 miles of public water infrastructure. Access to clean drinking water and responsible water management are critical to public and environmental health in communities throughout the state.
“Tennessee is committed to serving Tennesseans with safe, reliable water,” David Salyers, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), said. “Helping communities address critical water infrastructure has and will continue to be a critical point of emphasis for our department.”
TDEC, in conjunction with the Tennessee Local Development Authority, provides low-interest loans to communities for clean water and drinking water infrastructure through the State Revolving Fund Loan Program. Tennessee’s Clean Water State Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $2 billion in low-interest loans since its inception in 1987. Tennessee’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan Program has awarded more than $300 million in low-interest loans since its inception in 1996.
TDEC has also helped guide the development of TN H2O, which is designed to recommend ways Tennessee will continue to have the water it needs. The plan was developed with representatives from agriculture, tourism, other industries, utilities, and environmental advocacy groups, along with local, state and federal government representatives. Those included leaders in rural communities.
Several mayors in communities across Tennessee have also made proclamations for the Imagine a Day Without Water campaign. They include Lewisburg Mayor Jim Bingham; Columbia Mayor Chaz Molder; Tullahoma Mayor Lane Curlee; Livingston Mayor Curtis Hayes; Spring Hill Mayor Rick Graham; Bledsoe County Mayor Gregg Ridley; Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger; Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett; Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris; Johnson County Mayor Mike Taylor; Lincoln County Mayor Bill Newman; Sumner County Mayor Anthony Holt; Gallatin Mayor Paige Brown; Bristol Mayor Margaret Feierabend; Claiborne County Mayor Joe Brooks; Sevier County Mayor Larry Waters; Humphreys County Executive Jessie Wallace; Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto; Dickson County Mayor Bob Rial; Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton; Mt. Pleasant Mayor Bill White; Stewart County Mayor Robin Brandon; and Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts.