Today is national Imagine a Day Without Water where communities and policymakers come together to advance greater and more equitable water investment. This includes seeking solutions to combat a rapidly changing climate and aging infrastructure. For most people, the systems that bring us this water are generally reliable and remain out of sight, out of mind. For others, a day without water is a harsh reality with seemingly few solutions.

Here in Central New York, we are very fortunate to have access to ample drinking water. OCWA, Central New York’s Water Authority, has worked hard to provide drinking water and, importantly, to ensure the sustainability of water for its customers. Specifically, OCWA has made investments in its infrastructure so that it can sustain the region’s residential and commercial customers. It has also attracted new business to Central New York. For example, OCWA’s ability to draw ample water from Lake Ontario was cited as a key factor in Micron Technology, Inc. choosing Central New York for its next microchip manufacturing plant. Other local customers, such as Anheuser-Busch and Clinton’s Ditch have come to rely on OCWA’s water to produce popular products, including Budweiser beer and Pepsi respectively.

To commemorate the eighth annual Imagine a Day Without Water, we would like to highlight the investment OCWA is making in infrastructure to ensure we can deliver clean and reliable drinking water for generations to come. OCWA has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability through a multitude of projects, including the following:

  • A nearly $100,000,000 investment to the Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant facilities.
  • An investment of over $40,000,000 on projects to upgrade the Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant since 2013.
  • The replacement of pumps and motors in both the Clear Water Pumping Station and the Raw Water Pumping Stations with new, more efficient models.
  • The replacement of critical electrical equipment at two high-voltage electrical substations serving the Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant and the Raw Water Pumping Station.
  • Adding emergency backup power capability to the Lake Ontario Water Treatment Plant and the Raw Water Pumping Station.
  • Upon completion of the current plant improvements phase in 2025, OCWA will have invested more than $30,000,000 to upgrade the finished water storage tanks and residual handling systems.

No matter your reason for participating in Imagine a Day Without Water, continue the conversation with your friends, family, and co-workers about the value of water. A day without water doesn’t have to be inevitable. Let’s work towards a reality in which a day without water is something we can only imagine.