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Why I Wanted to Intern for the Office of Water Communication’s Team

2013 June 26

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By Danielle Nichols

The multitude of internships available to college students can feel overwhelming. How does one narrow down thousands of opportunities into a few applications and further into one acceptance? Fortunately for me, this process was simple; I knew I wanted to intern for the Office of Water Communication’s team.

As an Environmental Science major at William Paterson University, I focus most of my coursework on water related subjects. I became interested in the government’s role in protecting both the water of its country’s ecosystems and its potable sources for its citizens. Last summer, I further explored these topics when studying abroad at Cambridge University. I researched the various types of governmental and constitutional protections nations use to ensure their citizen’s access to clean and safe drinking water.

This experience reinforced the necessity of protecting a nation’s water supply and its interconnectivity to other societal concerns. Without access to clean, safe and affordable water, citizens are unable to fully participate in a democratic society.

Although I felt informed on these issues, I knew that many of my peers were not. When speaking to other students about drinking water, most thought that tap water was unsafe because it was inexpensive and easily accessible. Even many of my fellow environmental science majors, whom have taken hydrology courses, doubted the quality of their tap water! As president of our campus’ environmental science club, I decided that these misconceptions must be addressed.

Last year, our club began working with the Food & Water Watch on their Take Back the Tap campaign. Our main goal is to inform students how to access municipal water quality reports, encourage students to use refillable water bottles and to get more water refill stations on campus. Through the efforts of our campaign team, more students are learning about their tap, using reusable bottles and demanding more water refill stations.

Since I was familiar with the Office of Water’s Bring Back the Water Fountain program and its relation to my campus’ campaign, I knew that this internship would help me to more effectively communicate information about tap water to my peers. As a new intern, I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to learning more about working for the Office of Water’s communications team.

About the author: Danielle Nichols is a rising senior at William Paterson University majoring in environmental science with an honors concentration in life science and environmental ethics and a minor in political science.  Outside of academic work, she enjoys organizing several environmental campaigns on campus.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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3 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    June 26, 2013

    Water And Ritual.-

    I “skeptical” if you are working in the Countries which their people use the clean water (included tap water) for their rituals. The first, people do not think that clean water is expensive. The second, they don’t have ideas how the waste water could be useful for themselves. I am so sad, the authorities didn’t communicate this issue seriously……..!

  2. Nazrul I. Khandaker permalink
    June 26, 2013

    Thank you Danielle for your great efforts and campaign to take back the tap water and educate fellow students and friends to rely on tap water as a clean source of drinking water. There are numerous reports also endorsing the availability of high quality municipal drinking water and recommending consumers to use this resource and minimize the usage of bottle water for environmental reasons. New York City water has ranked very high when it comes to National Standard and often it is as good as clean and processed water and given this assessment, one can easily cut down the usage of bottle water, thus enabling less plastic waste disposal and providing sustainability as well. City of San Francisco already initiated this campaign and encouraging citizens to drink filtered or tap water and minimizing bottle water consumption. The only valid recommendation I would like to put forward is to check the water pipeline periodically so as to ensure that water quality is maintained and not contaminated due to chemical precipitate inside the pipe or leakage.

  3. ZHM permalink
    July 23, 2013

    I’m a student of the Environmental Science in China. About ten years ago, we drank the water from the tap. But now, we can’t. There are too much chlorinated lime in the water, and the bottom of the pot to boil water leave a layer of limescale. I really don’t want to see a war for fresh water in the future. Let’s fight together.

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