RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Department of Public Utilities is joining various water utility community leaders, educators and businesses in bringing awareness to the ninth annual Imagine a Day Without Water.

This year the City’s DPU has hosted an essay contest to raise awareness in honor of the day.

More than 60 essays have been submitted by Richmond Public School students detailing how one day without water would impact them and the ways in which community members can work to resolve issues of pollution and water conservation efforts.

The national day of action, led by the U.S. Water Alliance’s Value of Water Campaign, highlights how water is essential, invaluable and in need of continuous investment.

The alliance — working with additional water-focused organizations — has identified that two million people in the U.S. lacked access to clean and safe drinking water along with sanitation services in 2019.

The alliance adds Black, Indigenous and Communities of Color in addition to low-income communities are most likely to face water access issues such as plumbing.

Without the access to water, people will cease to stay hydrated, prepare meals, bathe children, and even the simplest of tasks such as washing hands, and flushing the toilet, according to the alliance.

Winners of the essay contest will be announced next week.