This week, May 6 – 12, OCWA – Central New York’s Water Authority and other water professionals across the country are celebrating National Drinking Water Week.

In 1988, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) first proposed Drinking Water Week and formed a coalition along with the League of Women Voters, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. A resolution was sponsored to name the first week of May as Drinking Water Week, and an information kit was distributed to the media and to more than 10,000 utilities. The week-long observance was declared in a joint congressional resolution and signed by then President Ronald Reagan.

This year’s theme for Drinking Water Week is Protect the Source.

In addition to taking steps to protect water sources from contamination, it’s also essential to conserve water levels by practicing simple conservation practices. Water consumers can practice conservation by using water wisely at home through the following steps, which are available on

  • Repair leaky faucets, indoors and out.
  • Fill your sink or basin when washing and rinsing dishes.
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine when they are full.
  • Take short showers instead of baths.
  • Turn off the water to brush teeth, shave and soap up in the shower. Fill the sink to shave.
  • Repair leaky toilets. Add 12 drops of food coloring into the tank, and if color appears in the bowl one hour later, the toilet is leaking.
  • Install a toilet dam, faucet aerators and low-flow showerheads.
  • Apply mulch around shrubs and flower beds to reduce evaporation, promote plant growth and control weeds.
  • Collect rainfall for irrigation in a screened container (to prevent mosquito larvae growth).
  • Always use a broom to clean walkways, driveways, decks and porches, rather than hosing off these areas.

“Safeguarding water by using it wisely is everyone’s responsibility,” said AWWA Chief Executive Officer David LaFrance. “Conserving water at home means we’re saving our precious water supplies and, in the long run, protecting our source water, too.”

Additional information about Drinking Water Week, including free materials for download are available at AWWA website on the Drinking Water Week webpage: