Private Water Companies Give Back
As we start a new year, many of us take time to reflect on the year that has just passed. At TFTT, we’d like to highlight the many ways private water companies across the country gave back to their communities this past year. These companies recognize the importance of not only delivering safe and reliable drinking water and wastewater services, but also investing in the communities they serve.
Here are a few highlights:
- Aqua America announced a new partnership with Villanova University that provides mentorship opportunities for students, offering them hands-on water infrastructure expertise in developing countries. Aqua also supports many charitable and community organizations throughout the year including United Way, Junior Achievement, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and Toys for Tots.
- American Water held its companywide AmerICANs in Action! employee volunteer event in September. A record-breaking 2,266 American Water employees participated in 116 different projects across the country, amounting to a total of 4,000 volunteer hours. AmerICANs in Action! continues the company’s efforts to create a lasting, positive impact for their customers and the communities they serve. In addition, the company’s Environmental Grant Program has provided more than $1.4 million for 373 projects to help improve, restore and protect valuable natural resources since its inception ten years ago.
- This year marks the 26th consecutive holiday season that Golden State Water Company partnered with state and local leaders and community organizations to distribute Thanksgiving turkeys to underserved families and individuals throughout its service areas. This year, the company donated approximately $140,000 through its Operation Gobble program and provided 8,400 turkeys to the communities it serves. Check out a video of Operation Gobble here!
- California Water’s own Operation Gobble program provides close to 700 Thanksgiving Dinners in Marysville, as well as financial assistance to five charities – Marysville Elks Lodge, Twin Cities Rescue Mission, Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Salvation Army, and Yuba County Senior Center. In Oroville, Cal Water’s program helps the local Rescue Mission provide Thanksgiving food baskets, meals and assistance to the needy as well as contributions to the local YMCA, Hope Center, Salvation Army and Boys & Girls Club.
- SUEZ North America provides donations to community causes in every city and town it serves, including the Jersey City Bike Share program. The program has 35 bike stations with 350 bikes in the city in order to provide a healthy, sustainable and affordable way for people to travel within the city and to reduce CO2 SUEZ funds will be used to secure an additional five stations for the city. The program is estimated to provide over 300,000 rides per year with more than 6,000 people using the service.
- Veolia’s wastewater facility in Milwaukee, Wisc., sponsors an annual weekend event called “Doors Open” organized by Historic Milwaukee and featuring public tours at over 100 buildings around the city. The Veolia site is one of the most-toured Doors Open sites and has attracted more than 20,000 visitors over the past eight years. The facility treats more than 300 million gallons of wastewater every day and the tours provide the public an opportunity to learn not only about the wastewater treatment process but also about the ways they can help protect the environment.
- EPCOR Water: Since 2012, EPCOR Water has offered a Helping Hands program that allows employees who volunteer their personal time to request grants to support their non-profits of choice. In 2016, through EPCOR’s annual United Way campaign, EPCOR and its employees contributed more than $43,000 to local organizations, including food banks and after school programs.