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Drinking Water Week: “Water Are We Doing?”

Jacobs shares what we’re doing in some of the critical areas water touches, highlighting “Water We Doing?” (Yes, a play on “what are”), and showcasing water’s role in resilience and its impact on our communities and each one of us.

In honor of Drinking Water Week, celebrated May 2-8, 2021, Jacobs Global Drinking Water & Reuse Global Solutions Director Russell Ford and Adam Hosking, our global water resources director, are sharing what we’re doing in some of the critical areas water touches, highlighting “Water We Doing?” (Yes, a play on “what are”), and showcasing water’s role in resilience and its impact on our communities and each one of us. 

For more than four decades, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and its members, like Jacobs, have marked Drinking Water Week during the first full week to May to celebrate and reinforce the vital role water plays in society.

This year’s Drinking Water Week theme is “There When You Need It,” and as we take this time to recognize the importance of water with our Drinking Water Week celebrations, Jacobs is sharing what we’re doing in some of the critical areas water touches.

By highlighting “Water We Doing?”, we’ll showcase water’s impact on our communities and its role in them becoming resilient. The water sector is at an inflection point, as we begin to come out of COVID-19 into a world that has been changed in many ways by the pandemic. Add to that the challenges of climate change and equity, there has perhaps never been a greater need for continued focus on the innovation and the inspiration for improvement that the water industry can lead.

Over the past year, COVID-19 has accelerated greater opportunities for innovation to address the challenges facing the water sector:

  • Innovations in digital water.
  • Building a workforce that integrates tools, technology and training.
  • COVID-19 detection system for water helping communities plan and prepare.
  • Equity efforts growing across the water sector.
  • Public awareness campaigns, empowering people to do their part, providing information and making people a part of the solution.

And while we’ll all need some time to decompress once the worst of the pandemic is over, it’s equally important that we recognize that our challenges remain and maintaining this pace of innovation and implementation is essential. Doing so gives us an opportunity to grow the role that water plays globally to deliver resilience and take a lead in addressing global challenges.

Being out of sight and out of mind, the great work of the water sector tends to largely go under the radar, but we’d argue that the critical role of water in managing and responding to the pandemic has raised that profile and in turn, perhaps some greater awareness of the value of water.

There is an opportunity for us to maintain this positive position by realizing the potential of the innovations and impact of water utilities against the global drivers impacting communities across the globe.

During the pandemic, collaboration across sectors to address and support the tracking and response to COVID-19, in addition to maintaining essential functions to communities and business, has been a great success story. Explore  Water We Doing for Public Health?

Even while focused on the pandemic, utilities have managed to continue to innovate and grow their role in delivering against global climate goals. Maintaining a focus on reuse and circular economy, the water sector has an opportunity to be the global exemplar for truly sustainable development. Discover Water We Doing About Diminishing Supplies?

Of course, social justice and equity is an issue of huge global significance where water utilities have a key role to play in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation, critical elements of the communities they serve.

Continuing to push on these innovations, and aggressively adopting them into an integrated water system, is the foundation for not only delivering on the charter to provide safe reliable water to our communities, but also to taking on a greater role in addressing the global challenges.

Of course, we’re addressing these global issues while also tackling local water challenges such as PFAS, aging infrastructure and water scarcity. But if we think about how water utilities have evolved over time, and some of the innovative projects they’re engaged with around the world, it is clear – water plays an important role in our hope for the future. As anchor institutions embedded in nearly every community – we have an opportunity to reimagine the role of water utilities with a special focus on the ways we can accelerate our progress towards playing an even bigger role in creating a more sustainable world.  Read more about Water We Doing for Others?

A passionate environmental engineer with more than 3 decades of experience, Dr. Russell Ford’s career has concentrated on improving drinking water quality and providing a positive impact on public health around the globe. As our Global Drinking Water & Reuse Solutions Director, Russell leads our drinking water business from both a technical and leadership perspective, able to bring the best resources to deliver critical client solutions.

Growing up on a farm along the coast, change is a very natural part of life for Adam Hosking. Today, he brings that to our clients through the lens of resilience, helping them anticipate events and trends, and turn them into opportunity – as leader of Jacobs’ Global Water Resources Solutions team.

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Russell Ford

Drinking Water & Reuse Global Solutions Director

Adam Hosking

Global Solutions Director for Resilience 
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