Water agencies join communities across North America in celebrating Drinking Water Week, an annual observance led by the American Water Works Association. This year, Drinking Water Week will take place May 5-11. Its purpose is to highlight the importance of safe drinking water and recognize local water professionals’ tireless efforts to ensure its availability. This year’s observance coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

Passed in 1974, the Act set strong water quality standards for the nation’s drinking water and established a regulatory framework to safeguard U.S. citizens’ public health and safety. Water agencies recognize the act’s significant contributions to improving and protecting water quality and emphasize the need for continued investment and scientific evaluation to address emerging challenges.

“The people of the United States enjoy some of the world’s best drinking water, and the Safe Drinking Water Act helps make that possible,” said David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works Association. “Over the past 50 years, the SDWA has provided a consistent, scientific process for evaluating potential risks, inspired innovative solutions to water quality concerns, and provided consumers with confidence in the safety of our most vital resource. A safe and well-managed water supply is foundational to our health, well-being, and overall quality of life.”

To celebrate Drinking Water Week, water utilities, water organizations, government entities, environmental advocates, schools, and others throughout North America will help children and consumers of all ages understand how water is protected, cleaned, and delivered throughout their communities. Water utilities and others mark the occasion by hosting engaging events like educational fairs, contests, facility tours, interactive demonstrations, and more.