Drinking Water Week

For more than 35 years the American Water Works Association and its members have celebrated Drinking Water Week – a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together in recognizing the vital role water plays in our daily lives. Please join AWWA as we celebrate water!

For questions about Drinking Water Week please contact Amber Wilson in the AWWA Communications Department. 

Learn More

For more than 35 years the American Water Works Association has celebrated Drinking Water Week with its members.

In 1988, AWWA brought the event to the attention of the US government and formed a coalition along with the League of Women Voters, the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Rep. Robert Roe and Sen. Dennis DeConcini subsequently sponsored a resolution to name the first week of May as Drinking Water Week, and an information kit was distributed to the media and to more than 10,000 utilities. Willard Scott, the NBC Today Show weatherman, was featured in public service announcements that aired between May 2 and 8. The week-long observance was declared in a Joint Congressional Resolution and signed by then-President Ronald Reagan.

The following year AWWA approached several organizations to participate. Through those efforts the National Drinking Water Alliance was formed of 15 nonprofit educational, professional and public interest organizations. The Alliance dedicated itself to public awareness and involvement in public and private drinking water issues and continued its work to organize a major annual educational campaign built around Drinking Water Week.

The power of the multi-organization Alliance enabled Drinking Water Week to grow into widespread and committed participation throughout the United States and Canada. In 1991, the Alliance launched a national campaign to inform the public about America's drinking water. The group distributed a kit containing ideas for celebrating Drinking Water Week, conservation fact and tip sheets, news release and posters. The theme was "There's a lot more to drinking water than meets the eye." That same year, Robert Redford recorded a radio PSA on behalf of Drinking Water Week. 

Celebrating Drinking Water Week is an easy way to educate the public, connect with the community and promote employee morale. Too often, water utilities receive publicity only when something bad happens; Drinking Water Week celebrations give you an opportunity for positive communication.

Public communication

Whether you send out press releases, take out ads in your local newspaper or use any of the other ideas provided, communicating the public during drinking water week is integral to any successful celebration. Here are some options:

  • Advertise in your local newspaper
  • Send bill stuffers
  • Work with your librarian to set up a library display
  • Use mall kiosks to reach a broad audience
  • Coordinate distribution of AWWA news releases
  • Publicize the release of your consumer confidence report
  • Send public service announcements to your local radio or television stations

Community Events

It’s important for you to be a part of your local community. Community events are fun and festive ways to make sure that your customers know about their drinking water – where it comes from, how they get it and what they can do to help ensure their drinking water quality.

  • Invite your community to an open house
  • Inaugurate an adopt-a-hydrant program
  • Plant a tree
  • Plant tours
  • Hold a landmark dedication/anniversary celebration
  • Bury a time capsule
  • Partner with your local botanic gardens or other groups
  • Plan a community clean-up
  • Do a water bottle giveaway

Youth focus

Drinking Water Week is a perfect time to educate children about their water supply in an atmosphere of fun.

  • Feature a children's coloring contest or essay contest
  • Hold a poster contest
  • School presentations

Internal communications and events

Don't forget your employees! Drinking Water Week can help reaffirm to your employees the importance of what it is they do – provide clean, safe drinking water for the public.

  • Hold your annual employee picnic during Drinking Water Week
  • Create a utility newsletter feature on Drinking Water Week 
  • Have a themed food day or a bake sale
  • Organize a fun game tournament
  • Have a fundraiser with proceeds benefiting AWWA's Scholarship Program
Drinking Water Week is celebrated during the first full week of May each year. Future dates are listed here: 

  • 2016 – May 1-7
  • 2017 – May 7-13
  • 2018 – May 6-12
  • 2019 – May 5-11
  • 2020 – May 3-9
  • 2021 – May 2-8
  • 2022 – May 1-7
  • 2023 – May 7-13
  • 2024 – May 5-11
  • 2025 – May 4-10