LATHAM, N.Y. — The Value of Water Coalition is a group made up of public and private members of the water industry that have come together to educate the public about the risks to water infrastructure.

The group aims to educate the public on the importance of clean, safe and reliable water to and from every home and community, thereby ensuring quality water service for future generations.

Members of the coalition include Xylem, the Water Environment Federation, Veolia Water, Suez Environnement, the U.S. Water Alliance, National Association of Water Companies, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, MWH, CH2M HILL, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the American Water Works Association and American Water.

The coalition recently hosted Infrastructure Week 2014 from May 12-16 along with other business, labor and non-governmental organizations to encourage decision makers and the general public to set U.S. water infrastructure as a national priority at a critical moment when many of these systems are failing.

Water Technology caught up with Ben Grumbles, president of the U.S. Water Alliance and project manager of the Value of Water Coalition, to talk about Infrastructure Week, the state of U.S. infrastructure today and how the coalition is working to educate the public about this issue.

"The fundamental point here is that ratepayers, citizens, members of the public are the primary audience,” said Grumbles. “There's also a recognition though, that because all water is local and all water infrastructure is local, that local leadership is needed. And, we're seeing a lot of local leadership, but they need additional support and tools. So, the concept behind the coalition is to have a national public awareness campaign to inform the public about the value of water and the importance of water infrastructure and to help local leaders do more in that regard."

Listen to our full conversation with Grumbles in our latest podcast, available here.