A Call for More Water and Wastewater Funding

The federal government has been called upon to help address a $23 billion shortage of funds every year that is needed to maintain the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure. The Water Infrastructure Network (WIN)—a coalition of elected officials, manufacturers and construction and engineering professionals—has asked for $57 billion in federal investments over the next five y...

07/01/2001


The federal government has been called upon to help address a $23 billion shortage of funds every year that is needed to maintain the nation's water and wastewater infrastructure.

The Water Infrastructure Network (WIN)—a coalition of elected officials, manufacturers and construction and engineering professionals—has asked for $57 billion in federal investments over the next five years to upgrade treatment systems and replace aging pipes in the nation's drinking water, sewer and stormwater systems.

Due to the critical nature of this infrastructure, it is crucial that the federal government play a more active role in establishing grants, trust funds, loans and incentives for private investment, says WIN.

In WIN's recent report, Water Infrastructure Now , the Washington, D.C.-based association points out that currently, local governments and taxpayers cover 90 percent of the cost to build, operate and maintain 54,000 drinking water systems and 16,000 water systems across the country. To ease the burden, WIN has put forth a number of legislative recommendations in the report, including:

  • Grants, loans, loan subsidies and credit assistance.

  • Focusing on critical "core" water and wastewater infrastructure needs and nonpoint source pollution.

  • Streamlining the federal and state administration of infrastructure funds and adequately financing state programs.

  • Providing more assistance to communities most in need.

  • Establishing a new program for technology and management innovation.





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