How important is water in your life?

By Bruce MacKay | Thursday, March 21, 2024

Every year, on March 22, people around the world celebrate World Water Day. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of water in our lives, and the need to protect this precious resource for future generations.

We need to change the way we think about water. Its true cost, from an economic, social, and environmental perspective, must be incorporated into the entire life cycle of any undertaking: personal, professional, industrial, or environmental.

Water is essential for all forms of life. It’s a basic human need, and access to clean water is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, many people still lack clean and safe access, putting their health at risk.

Water is also crucial for agriculture and food production, as well as for industry and energy production. Without water, we could not grow crops or produce the goods and services that we rely on every day. Without water, lithium batteries essential to electrification cannot be produced. Water is not only essential for creating goods and materials but also for sustaining our world. Proper management of industrial water and wastewater is critical for environmental sustainability and business continuity.

Many in developed countries have access to clean water at the turn of a tap, without giving a second thought to where it comes from or how it is treated. We use water for everything from cooking and cleaning to watering our lawns and filling our swimming pools, without realizing the impact our actions have on the environment and on others who may not have access to the same resources.

This World Water Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the importance of water in our lives, and the need to protect this resource for future generations. Let us also remember those who are still struggling to access clean water and do what we can to support efforts to provide safe and sustainable water sources for all.

We can all make a difference by conserving water, reducing our water usage, and supporting organizations that work to provide access to clean water in underserved communities. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has access to the clean, safe water they need to thrive.

How Hatch is making a difference

Urban development strategies must account for the effects that high density precipitation and flash floods will have on new housing developments, energy access, transportation, communications, and other community-related infrastructure. The integrity and potential redesign of existing infrastructure such as roads, communication corridors, drainage systems, energy and water distribution must also be evaluated, along with the way consumers use and reuse water.

Here’s a few examples of how Hatch is helping communities better manage their water resources.

Potomac River Tunnel, Washington DC, USA

The next big phase of the DC Clean Rivers Project is the Potomac River Tunnel. Hatch and its partners will use their extensive experience in water tunnel construction and creative solutions to make this project happen.

The project is a 5.5-mile-long tunnel that will help control combined sewer overflows into the Potomac River. This will improve the water quality of this important natural resource and will aim to make the water quality better in the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers and Rock Creek. This project will have a significant impact on reducing combined sewer overflows and play a key role in making the environment more sustainable for the region.

To learn more about this project – go to: Potomac Tunnel project underway: CBNA, Halmar, COWI, & Hatch join forces.


Xhora Water Storage Dam, Elliotdale, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Hatch is working with the Amathole District Municipality to deliver the Xhora Water Supply Scheme. The scheme's first phase includes a river intake, as well as an off-channel storage dam, water treatment works, 190 km of bulk pipelines with five pump stations, 48 reservoirs and 700 km of distribution.

The Off-Channel Storage Dam is essential for providing the Xhora Water Supply Scheme with reliable drinking water for 70,000 people. It is in a small part of the river basin and is designed to reduce environmental impacts. It was important to make sure the environmental instream flow requirements were satisfied for both the tributary where the dam was built and the river with the intake. The project has received a commendation in the Technical Excellence Project category at the SANRAL SAICE National Awards 2021 in South Africa.

To learn more about this project – go to: Xhora Off-Channel Storage Dam (

Lakeshore Water Wastewater Plant, Canada

Hatch was engaged to provide engineering and construction services for the town of Innisfil in Ontario, Canada, which needed additional wastewater treatment capacity for future growth. This included many vital services, assessments, and designs that our Hatch experts oversaw during the design and construction stages. This was done while ensuring extensive and crucial efforts were being made to minimize the negative impact on this area, as the Lakeshore Wastewater Treatment Plant is located within a regulated area of wetlands and woodlands.

These challenges were met with solutions that minimally impacted the environment, reduced leakage, introduced new and innovative approaches, and maximized the use of important materials, all while engaging local employees and investing millions in local wages and contractors.


World Water Day serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of water conservation and sustainable management. Investing in water projects not only fulfills our social responsibility at Hatch, but also secures a vital resource and helps contribute to a more sustainable world for generations to come.

To learn more about how we are managing the world's most precious resource, visit our Water expertise page on Water & the Natural Environment