A Dublin San Ramon Services District employee is lending her voice to a national effort aimed at making citizens more aware of America's vulnerable water infrastructure.
Thursday is "Imagine a Day Without Water," a campaign organized by the Value of Water Coalition. The organization posits that most Americans take water and the systems that transmit it for granted despite water crises that continue to make global headlines. These problems are mufti-faceted and need to be addressed by making reinvestment in water a priority, the coalition argues.
DSRSD is one of hundreds of organizations across the country to take part in Imagine a Day Without Water. To help raise awareness among Tri-Valley residents about the value of water, the agency produced a 90-second video featuring one of its civil engineers, Rhodora Biagtan.
In the video Biagtan talks about growing up in the Philippines in a city that formerly housed a naval base. Although the facilities were modern, Biagtan says, residents lacked a reliable water source.
"In the mornings everyone runs around and tries to fill as many buckets and drums and pots with water so that we would have water for the day," Biagtan said in the video. "I remember people being concerned that we wouldn't have water by sometime mid to late morning. That was just kind of the norm."
She also recalled turning on the faucet sometimes and seeing brown water run out.
Biagtan says she recognized these as serious issues that she wanted to tackle when she got older. Ensuring that residents have a reliable water supply is now central to her job as the principal engineer of DSRSD's planning and permitting division.
Given her upbringing, Biagtan can relate to the message of the national campaign.
"Very easily, having lived through that," she said when asked if she could imagine a day without water.
DSRSD is asking its employees, directors and customers to sign an online petition encouraging public officials to prioritize investment in water infrastructure and resources. For every signature received, Change the Course will restore 1,000 gallons of water to rivers and wetlands across North America.
To sign the petition or learn more, visit DSRSD online.