Reflections on World Water Day

Shining a Much-Needed Spotlight on Water

March 22, 2016

by Ian Kline, President and CEO


Today marks the United Nations’ 23rd World Water Day. Each year on March 22, World Water Day offers the global community an opportunity to celebrate the world’s most important natural resource, while bringing attention to the critical water-related challenges that directly impact public health, ecosystem health, and sustainable development. From the provision of safe and potable water to the management of increasingly scarce water resources at home and in many regions across the globe, addressing these challenges has never been more important.

While World Water Day shines a much-needed spotlight on water, Cadmus is focused on water and water-related challenges every day of the year. Water has been a core area of commitment at Cadmus since our first major contract with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, won in 1986, supporting the national drinking water program. Today, our commitment to protecting water resources has expanded to include science, engineering, economics, and policy support to our clients in the areas of potable water supply, water quality management, watershed management, source water protection, geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, the water-energy nexus, and the impacts of climate change on water quality and management of water resources.

Our efforts to develop effective and innovative solutions to critical water-related issues are central to our mission to create social and economic value, improve the quality of people’s lives, and protect the natural environment through our support of our clients.

Addressing water-related challenges in a way that reflects the inextricable links between water, human health, and development is critical in today’s world. Clean and safe water is essential to the global health community’s efforts to make significant strides against major water-borne killers such as diarrhea, typhoid, and cholera. Children and adults who have access to clean water and who are able to drink, bathe, take advantage of sanitation services, and otherwise benefit from clean and disease-free water live healthier lives and are able to participate in and help create more vibrant, stable, and economically productive communities. Ensuring the sustainability of water supplies, by protecting water resources and the associated ecosystem services, guarantees that these resources will be available for generations to come. Providing access to safe and clean sources of water, while managing those resources wisely to preserve their broader social and ecological value, is the realization of a human right that lifts us all.

Cadmus is a leader in working at this intersection of water, health, and development. Today, in support of the U.S. Forest Service, Cadmus experts are ensuring sustainable access to adequate supplies of clean water for communities and schools throughout Western Africa by conducting assessments of water infrastructure planning and implementation that verify these systems are resilient to climate change impacts. We are helping the U.S. Agency for International Development evaluate a program aimed at improving the productivity, environmental sustainability, and social equity of Senegal’s fisheries sector. Our team is researching the threats to watersheds, water quality, and water infrastructure caused by increasing wildfires and is working with our clients and other stakeholders to identify mitigation strategies. Similarly, we are building robust models that support our clients in identifying and understanding the impacts of climate change on water resources and evaluating the strategies that can be employed to mitigate those impacts. We are working with the National Academy of Sciences to develop methods to support more efficient use of water at our Nation’s airports. And our scientists, engineers, economists, and policy analysts continue to support the U.S. EPA in developing and implementing the drinking water standards and programs that protect public health across the United States. Through countless projects like these, Cadmus’ experts have dedicated their careers to protecting water resources in support of public health, energy, agriculture, environmental and ecosystem protection, and sustainable development.

For my colleagues at Cadmus, World Water Day is a catalyst and an inspiration to do more.

Reflecting on the progress that has been made only strengthens our resolve to contribute to the solutions for the challenges that remain. We are committed to expanding our capabilities and our reach, enabling us to continue to work effectively with our clients and our partners to have an even greater impact here in the United States and across the globe in providing, managing, and protecting the most essential of all of the Earth’s natural resources—Water.