By Karen R. Smith, WC&P Executive Editor
May 1-7 is National Drinking Water Week. As marketing opportunities go, it really doesn’t get much better than this—yet very few of the dealers I’ve spoken with seem to be taking advantage of this unique occasion.
First, a bit of background. It was the folks at the American Water Works Association who masterminded the idea, starting back in 1988. They formed a coalition along with the League of Women Voters, the U.S. EPA and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators. Congressman Robert Roe and Senator Dennis DeConcini were the sponsors of the resolution that named the first week of May National Drinking Water Week—and the rest, as they say, is history!
In the 30 years since, this week has become a focus of educational campaigns and public awareness. The Wonder of Water™, AWWA’s trademarked theme, serves as a unifier for a host of activities nationwide.
In Colorado, the association distributed water bottles imprinted with, “Five reasons to fill this bottle with tap water”:
- Free refills at participating faucets.
- Refill versus landfill?
- No carbs: Go ahead and supersize it.
- Undergoes more testing than professional athletes.
- For more reasons, visit www.drinktap.org
Your dealership can make National Drinking Water Week an outreach opportunity in the communities you serve. If you bottle water, offer to distribute it at a school event this month. Arrange to speak at a local senior center about the need for regular well water testing. Tutor a local scout troop about safe water camping practices. Use the week to contact local restaurants and offer free water testing—and tastings. After all, the best food deserves the best water! The equipment and technologies you offer can make a distinct difference in what they serve their customers.
I could go on, but you get the idea. Every business, each organization, all the institutions in your area will benefit from better water—and that is precisely what you can provide. Why not maximize your visibility during this special week? Since dozens of groups participate and the government gets involved as well, there will be plenty of opportunities in your area. Start by calling the schools and the local media and see what’s happening where you live and work.
Unfortunately, this week also brings all the urban water legends to the forefront. My favorite is continued use of the ‘eight glasses a day’ maxim. Created out of whole cloth, it continues to be quoted, advised, prescribed and otherwise alluded to. Good for the business, perhaps, but strange nonetheless. Just to set the record straight, according to Snope.com:
“Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum. To replace daily losses of water, an average-sized adult with healthy kidneys sitting in a temperate climate needs no more than one liter of fluid, according to Jurgen Schnermann, a kidney physiologist at the National Institutes of Health.
One liter is the equivalent of about four eight-ounce glasses. According to most estimates, that’s roughly the amount of water most Americans get in solid food. In short, though doctors don’t recommend it, many of us could cover our bare-minimum daily water needs without drinking anything during the day.”