Dear AWWA Community,

We are truly in an unprecedented time. You have almost certainly heard from every organization, local government, and business you are associated with about how COVID-19 has impacted their operations, their employees, and in many cases, their very existence–and you certainly don’t need to hear it from me as well. Yet, as you may have assumed, AWWA has been similarly affected by this unanticipated crisis.

Right now, your priorities have been reduced to a few simple things: Caring for your families, maintaining your livelihoods, and doing your part to reduce the spread of the virus so that we can protect ourselves and others. Many of us are not thinking about extracurricular activities, but simply trying to make sure we will weather this storm. Unfortunately, many businesses and nonprofits will not outlast this crisis. People are not spending money and in this country, most small businesses only have enough spare funds to survive for three months. This includes nonprofits.

I will be perfectly honest with you. AWWA is a strong organization, but we are not designed to withstand such a high degree of financial insecurity. While we are not at risk of disappearing, we are at significant risk of not being able to deliver our normal programs and services to the “7 Lakes” region this year. This includes our middle school science class programs, our homeowner technical assistance, and our Youth Conservation Corps.

I would never ask for you to support AWWA if you are not in a situation to do so. This has always been an organization funded by voluntary donations from people who support the water resources of our area and trust us to further that goal. If you are able to donate to AWWA in these uncertain times, here is what I want you to know:

  • The environmental needs of our local waters have not changed.
  • AWWA’s programs, like many organizations, will be significantly impacted by COVID-19, and will only survive via donations.
  • If you are in a position to give, any contribution is sincerely appreciated.
  • If you are not able to donate at this time, we understand. Family always comes first and we are all in this together.

Finally, I want you to know that I am personally doing everything in my power to keep this organization functioning. There is great need all across the world at this time, and our resources should absolutely be focused on protecting human health and well-being. Remember that this crisis will pass, life will return to normal, and when it does, the things that were important to us before will become important again. When the dust settles, clean water and a clean environment will continue to be essential. I want to continue this mission when COVID-19 has finally been tamped down, and this is only possible with your support.

I want to thank you for the support you have shown us over the years and for your continued commitment to the health of our waters. Be it invasive species, pollution, or a global health crisis, this is a community effort and we will come through it, as a community. Please accept my deepest regards for you and your family at this time. Take care of each other.


Jon Balanoff