The President’s Bold Plan for America’s Aging Infrastructure
America’s crumbling water infrastructure is a national issue that unfortunately not many people hear or think about. While we rely on critical infrastructure systems on a daily basis, out of sight usually means out of mind. For instance, when you turn on your faucet to wash your hands, do you think about where the water comes from? Water and wastewater systems in communities around the country are crumbling. The shocking truth is there are 237,600 water mains break a year in the U.S., leading to more than 46 billion gallons of lost water each day.
The EPA estimates that $600 billion needs to be invested in our drinking water and wastewater systems alone over the next 20 years. And the White House recognizes that local communities can’t go at it alone.
Earlier this year, the White House unveiled a new private investment proposal to help address our major infrastructure challenges. The White House proposal includes incentives to encourage public and private investment and collaboration in improvement projects, as well as the creation of a Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center to support the communities trying to improve their water and wastewater systems.
The proposal is a smart and efficient solution with wide reaching benefits to the public. Yet, unbelievably, some activist groups have spoken out against this common sense proposal simply because it includes the private sector. These groups are so quick to say no to any solution that includes a private investment component, yet they offer no realistic solutions of their own. America’s infrastructure problem is real and we need real solutions, not scare tactics and misinformation.
The truth is private investment is a critical component of the solution to our country’s water infrastructure challenges and private water operators are ready to apply their proven expertise to help communities update and build the water infrastructure needed for the 21st century.
- “FACT SHEET: Increasing Investment in U.S. Roads, Ports and Drinking Water Systems Through Innovative Financing,” Press Release, Office of the Press Secretary, 01/16/15
- “Water Infrastructure and Resiliency Finance Center,” Press Release, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 01/16/15