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37 glasses of water a day – can you imagine?

On Imagine a Day Without Water, CH2M reflects on how water reuse efforts are ensuring safe, abundant drinking water supplies in communities across the United States for generations to come.

What’s the secret to winning a Super Bowl?

According to Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots, it starts with upping your water intake.

The five-time Super Bowl Champion says he drinks more than 37 glasses of water daily when he’s at his most active. While drinking plenty of water is a good suggestion, population growth and depleting resources are making it more challenging for communities to ensure abundant supplies of fresh water to drink.

That’s why today, Imagine a Day Without Water, is so important. We’re joining the Value of Water Coalition and hundreds of water agencies, businesses, elected officials, schools and community organizations from across the United States to educate and raise awareness about how water is essential, invaluable and needs investment.

In the U.S. alone, total population increased by more than 41 percent during the last 50 years, putting even greater demand on already thin resources, especially water.

There is no new water on Earth – we’re actually drinking the same water that dinosaurs did. Our global community cannot afford to use water once and dispose of it. That’s where the idea of water reuse – or purifying wastewater effluent to create drinking water – comes in.

On Imagine a Day Without Water and every day, CH2M is dedicated to working with clients to address the full spectrum of water challenges, and driving sustainable water reuse technologies to lessen the burden on stressed water supplies.

For the last half-century, we’ve been an industry leader in potable water reuse. In fact, CH2M won the Stockholm Industry Water Award in 2015 for pioneering potable reuse and public acceptance. The landmark works we led with Denver Water and Singapore's Public Utilities Board in the 1980s and 1990s paved the way for the potable reuse operations being planned and executed today – including our recent partnering with three Metro-Denver brewing companies Lone Tree Brewing Company, Lost Highway Brewing Company and 105 West Brewing Company.

In September, we delivered 330-gallons of potable reuse water produced by a mobile advanced water treatment facility to the three breweries earmarked to become Colorado’s first to produce craft beer from purified reuse water. This mobile facility, in part designed by CH2M in conjunction with Pima County, Arizona, and other participating entities, is one of just a few U.S. potable reuse pilots.

By partnering with local breweries, we’re demonstrating the applicability of potable reuse in Colorado, helping build public support and eliminating negative stigmas by creating something from the water that the state, which is home to the second most craft breweries in the country, already loves – craft beer.

Closer to Brady’s neck of the woods, we’re working with the Hampton Roads Sanitation District in Virginia on their Sustainable Water Initiative for Tomorrow (SWIFT), an innovative water purification program designed to ensure a sustainable source of groundwater while addressing environmental challenges.

The multi-year SWIFT initiative will take highly treated wastewater that would otherwise be discharged into area waterways and purify it through additional rounds of advanced water treatment to produce drinking-quality water. The purified water would then be treated to match the existing groundwater chemistry and added to the Potomac Aquifer, the primary source of groundwater throughout eastern Virginia. This forward-thinking solution is proactively addressing water, environmental and economic needs not only for today, but for generations to come.

In southern California, we’re collaborating with the City of San Diego on its phased, multi-year Pure Water San Diego program. This program is using proven water purification technology to clean recycled water to produce safe, high-quality drinking water.

Pure Water San Diego is also lessening the region’s reliance on imported water, which currently accounts for 85 percent of the area’s supply. By 2035, Pure Water San Diego will provide one-third of the region’s water supply locally. This cost-effective investment for San Diego's water needs is ensuring a reliable, local sustainable water supply for one of the country’s most drought vulnerable states.

Through these initiatives and others, we’re helping clients meet the current and future needs of the communities they serve. We’re committed to a future where everyone can count on reliable and safe water service—now and for future generations. And as we reflect on Imagine a Day Without Water, it’s our hope that through innovative solutions like water reuse, imagining being without water will remain just that – a figment of our imaginations.

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Peter Nicol

Global Water Director
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Industry-leader in water reuse, CH2M, delivers another solution for Coloradans to become more sustainable.

CH2M is pleased to participate in the 2015 World Water Week, where the firm received the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

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