The Value of Water


Water: so vitally essential, so readily available, so easily forgotten.

It courses through our veins, keeps us thinking clearly, and grows our food. A turn of the tap keeps us hydrated, cleanses our bodies, and nourishes our lives. The Rogue River, flowing year-round, never runs dry.

The availability of water is so reliable we rarely think about it.

But keeping water flowing through our taps cannot be taken for granted. Such convenience requires a reliable water treatment facility, and ours is on borrowed time. The Replacement Water Treatment Plant will help ensure our future.

It’s time we think about water, and where we might be without it.

water drop logo and the words Imagine a Day Without Water

Each year in October, the City of Grants Pass participates in the “Imagine a Day Without Water” campaign to raise awareness and educate people about the value of water, and the importance of robust investment in water infrastructure so that all may have access to safe, affordable water.

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The information below was compiled by the Value of Water Campaign. Follow the link to read their 2023 Value of Water Index

  1. Challenge and Opportunity
  2. Water and You
  3. Water and the Community
  4. Water and the Environment
  5. Water and the Economy


Our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure is at risk. Here are the challenges we face:

  • 1.7 trillion: The number of gallons of drinking water we lose every year to faulty, aging, or leaky pipes. When you add in leakage from sewer and stormwater pipes, that number rises to 6 trillion gallons.
  • 237,600: The number of water main breaks every year in the US. That’s 700 a day, and almost one every two minutes.
  • 47 years: The average age of our pipes. Pipes in urban centers are often older— Philadelphia’s pipes average an age of 78 years; Washington D.C.’s average 77 years; New York’s average 76 years.
  • D: The grade U.S. drinking water and wastewater infrastructure receive from the American Society of Civil Engineers.
  • $4.8 trillion: What we need to invest over the next twenty years to keep our water and wastewater systems in a state of good repair. Storm water systems will require an addition $298 billion over the next 20 years.


All of these challenges offer opportunities. Investing in our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure creates jobs, grows the economy, and builds a stronger America. Here’s how we all can gain:

  • $524 billion: The economic contribution of 30 large water and wastewater utilities over the next decade.
  • 289,000: The number of jobs that 30 large water and wastewater utilities will support over the next decade.
  • 16: The number of jobs supported in the economy from $1 million of direct investment in water. This is on par with investment in military spending, clean energy, transportation and health care.
  • 1/3: The percentage of current water sector employees eligible for retirement. Utilities are actively recruiting and training new workers to fill these employment opportunities.

Would water be important?

bathroom Stalls

Need Coffee?

man holding a coffee pot

Clean Clothes?

child sitting on a washing machine