Imagine A Day Without Water

Imagine a Day without Water logo

Most Americans take the water systems that bring clean water to and from their homes and businesses for granted. They turn on the tap and flush the toilet without thinking twice about where that water came from or where it will go.  

But could you imagine a day without water? Without safe, reliable water and wastewater service?


Imagine a Day Without Water Activities

The City of Winchester is participating in the "Imagine a Day Without Water" program on October 12, 2017 by offering guided tours of the Percy D. Miller Water Treatment Plant in Middletown, VA.

Tours with Transportation:

  • Time: 5:30 pm
  • Meet at War Memorial Building in Jim Barnett Park at least 15 minutes prior
  • Transportation provided (trolley)
  • Each tour is limited to 25 participants
  • Hotdogs and drinks available while supplies last
  • FREE
  • QUESTIONS: Email or call (540) 667-1815, ext. 1670

Open House Tours:


A Day Without Water = Crisis

A day without water means no water comes out of your tap to brush your teeth. When you flush the toilet, nothing happens. Firefighters have no water to put out fires; farmers couldn’t water their crops; and doctors couldn’t wash their hands. A single nationwide day without water service would put $43.5 billion of economic activity at risk. In just eight days, a national water service stoppage would put nearly 2 million jobs in jeopardy.  

A day without water is nothing short of a humanitarian, political, and economic crisis.

While unimaginable for most of us, there are communities that have lived without water. From man-made tragedies in Flint, Michigan, to water scarcity issues in Central California, to wastewater runoff in the Great Lakes, water issues abound. There are millions of Americans living in communities that never had the infrastructure to provide safe water service, relying on bottled water and septic systems each day.

The problems that face our drinking water and wastewater systems are multi-faceted. The infrastructure is aging and in need of investment, having gone underfunded for decades. Drought, flooding, and climate change stress water and wastewater systems. Although these regional challenges will require locally-driven solutions, reinvestment in our water must be a national priority.


Reinvestment in Water Infrastructure = Opportunity

At the August 22, 2017 Regular Meeting, the Winchester City Council adopted a utility rate increase in order to fund much needed water and sewer infrastructure improvements. The rates will be incrementally implemented over the next five years with the first increase effective July 1, 2018. The additional revenue will provide the following:

  • $48.7 million in new capital improvements that will improve the City's water and sewer infrastructure
    • ​Water and sewer main replacements
    • Small water meter and surrounding sidewalk replacements
    • New water and sewer pump stations
    • Dam repairs at river intake
    • New maintenance facility
  • $5.75 million annually by 2023 to pay for water and sewer main replacements (instead of having to borrow funding)

Winchester operates the oldest water distribution system in Virginia and the third oldest in the United States. Approximately 60% (75 miles) of the water distribution and sewer collection system is very old (60-180+ years old), in poor condition and needs to be replaced. Since 2008, approximately eight miles of water mains have been replaced. 

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About the Imagine a Day Without Water Campaign

The Value of Water Campaign educates and inspires the nation about how water is essential, invaluable, and in need of investment. Spearheaded by top leaders in the water industry, the Value of Water Campaign is building public and political will for investment in America's water infrastructure.

The Imagine a Day Without Water program is a nationwide day of education and advocacy about the value of water. Led by the Value of Water Campaign, hundreds of organizations across the country will host events today aimed at raising awareness about the crucial need for investment in our nation’s water infrastructure to ensure that no American community is left without safe and reliable water.