The 'Lucky Seven'
Posted by George S. Hawkins, General Manager, DC Water
Feb. 12, 2013
I was honored to speak on behalf of the public water sector in the Water Leaders session at the WEFTEC® 2012 conference. The following excerpts from my comments appear in the January issue of WE&T and cover the ‘lucky seven’ principles that I believe should guide the future of the water sector.
Pride. Back when I was an enforcement lawyer at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or running environmental nonprofits in New Jersey, or even running the District of Columbia Department of the Environment that regulates DC Water in part, I thought of our sector as polluters. I think regulators and the public still see us this way, too, and the media often follow right along. Yet there has been no instance in which I have been more wrong! Treatment plants don’t generate the pollution that is coming into our facilities—people do. Almost every action that requires water
generates used water thereafter. We take this water and cleanse it on everyone’s behalf. In fact, we clear out more trash, remove more pollutants, clean more water, and protect the lives of more people—and every other living organism—than anyone else. We should remember this reality and shout it from the mountaintops to anyone who will listen. A healthy civilization rests on our broad shoulders, and we should feel enormous pride in the service we deliver.
Read about the remaining 'lucky seven' principles.