Access to clean water is critical in New Hampshire and the 100 plus headcount at yesterday’s “Water’s Worth It!” Legislative Breakfast in Concord is a testament to the extensive support for this cause throughout the state.
Members of the New Hampshire Water Pollution Control Association (NHWPCA), Granite State Rural Water Association (GSRWA), New Hampshire Water Works Association (NHWWA), and New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) worked together to organize the two-hour event, beginning with congressional greetings and remarks from State Senators Denise Ricciardi and Jeanne Shaheen and Congressman Chris Pappas.
Wastewater professionals Heidi Lauricella (GSRWA), Boyd Smith (NHWWA), Fred McNeill (City of Manchester-EPD), and Rene Pelletier (NH DES) followed up with presentations on the current water challenges facing New Hampshire, such as aging infrastructure, need for more qualified professionals, climate change, and wastewater treatment facilities tasked with the cleanup of improperly disposed items. Shared also were success stories like newly available incentive programs, grants, and funding for clean water, as well as the invaluable implementation of the Clean Water Act that led to the revival of the “Mighty” Merrimack River.
Keynote speaker Scott Spradling provided his valuable media expertise, and reinforced the idea that achieving public awareness of these water issues would require everyone’s voice. His insightful presentation included strategies for successful communication and public relations in today’s ever-changing media landscape.
The takeaway from the Legislative Breakfast this year is that while there are certainly challenges and obstacles to overcome regarding access and affordability of clean water in New Hampshire, there is also a history of success in this state thanks to the tireless efforts of many dedicated individuals. Future progress will require innovation, education, and continued efforts in public awareness, especially regarding relevant legislation. Overall, there is an inspiring amount of support for the “Water’s Worth It!” movement in New Hampshire, and this event will be one of many with the goal of championing water.