Water is an essential resource. Every day, people rely on clean water for many things, including drinking, bathing, cooking, washing clothes, and handwashing. However, many people don't know how clean water gets to their tap. Water is supplied to homes from a public water supply or a private well. It's important for everyone to determine how their water is supplied to better understand how it is monitored and to be involved in ensuring it is safe.
This week, Michigan's Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate, in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART), and community partners, led efforts to promote Drinking Water Awareness Week. The week centered around educating Michiganders about their drinking water and identifying steps everyone can take to work toward clean, safe drinking water for all. Watch the video below celebrating the activities and collaboration that took place this week during Drinking Water Awareness Week as well as highlighting how you can get involved in ensuring you have healthy, quality drinking water.
Michigan is ideally situated to be a leader in drinking water quality, with more than 84% of America's surface fresh water in the surrounding Great Lakes. It also has the most private wells in the nation, with more than a quarter of residents relying on well water. This year, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a proclamation establishing May 4 as Private Residential Well Awareness Day, highlighting the importance of well maintenance.
Drinking Water Awareness Week also highlighted common drinking water quality concerns, including per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), lead, and copper, and ways to keep families safe.
As Drinking Water Awareness Week concludes, it is important to reflect on the work needed to achieve a healthy water future for Michigan. There are many ways to get involved and take action, including:
The Drinking Water Awareness Week campaign is part of the larger Focus on Water Initiative, commissioned by the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate to bring together a diverse group of interests to develop a strategy to optimize limited resources for a greater impact in communities. Participants come from a wide range of sectors, including community-based organizations, government organizations, education organizations, water and energy infrastructure organizations, and consulting partners.
Stay connected to this work by signing up for the Office of the Clean Water Public Advocate Listserv. There will be opportunities for engagement of stakeholders throughout the process.
Video caption: Screen shot of EGLE Director Liesl Clark from 2021 Drinking Water Awareness Week video.