Clean water utilities don’t just treat wastewater, they improve our lives and transform communities by improving their social, economic, and environmental health.
The Santa Monica Bay. The Cuyahoga. The Potomac. Lake Okeechobee. Boston Harbor. America’s waters are considered some of our most valued treasures today. We value our waterways for their beauty, their restorative qualities, and, above all, the opportunity they provide for exploration, for play, and for community.
Clean water builds communities in a way no other product or service can. Beyond the simple aesthetics of having a healthy, thriving river, water’s presence has tangible benefits to society, such as improved physical and mental health. According to the scholarly journal Health and Place, living within sight of water is linked to lower stress levels. Urban water renewal projects have been linked to increased physical activity levels among users. In fact, Americans value water-based recreation opportunities so much they actually spend 25% more on fishing and water sports than the entire world spends on entertainment from the film industry.
Americans value water-based recreation opportunities so much they spend 25% more on fishing and water sports than the entire world spends on entertainment from the film industry.
With greater access and opportunity for outdoor recreation, such as walking paths, fishing, or kayaking, revitalized waterways offer residents affordable, unlimited ways to stay fit. Flowing water is energizing, and, at the same time, it’s calming. It creates a sense of place that people are drawn to for both social gathering and connecting with others as well as for solitary reflection and meditation. For residents of the District of Columbia, DC Water’s investment of $2.7 billion to repair its combined collection system is revitalizing the Anacostia River and will help ensure the new waterfront can provide housing, retail, entertainment, and sports venues as well as recreational and environmental opportunities. The project, which has brought together dozens of non-profit, local, federal, and regional partners, has effectively turned one of the nation’s most impaired rivers into a national treasure, right in the heart of its capital.
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