Jeff Sterba spoke on the importance of investing in the nation's infrastructure
American Water Works Co. Inc. announced its president and CEO, Jeff Sterba, provided testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on March 13, 2013.
Sterba, who is representing both American Water and the National Assn. of Water Cos. (NAWC), is presenting potential financing solutions to help water providers nationwide repair and replace aging water and wastewater systems. As the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure is in critical need of repair, it has become increasingly important for water utilities to gain access to private funds for financing upgrades to their pipes, pumps and plants.
“I am pleased to present actions we can take together as a nation to unleash more tools for the financing toolbox, through innovation and by embracing the powerful combination of public service and private enterprise to build the water infrastructure our communities need to thrive and to be healthy,” said Sterba. “The country’s aging infrastructure is a severe challenge for the water industry as evidenced by the 650 water main breaks every day and two trillion gallons of treated water lost every year at an estimated cost of $2.6 billion. Aging and deteriorating public water systems threaten economic vitality and public health, and communities nationwide are faced with massive fiscal challenges to replace critical water and wastewater infrastructure.”
Sterba continued, “The challenges we face to protect and maintain our water and wastewater systems and make the investments needed for continuing growth and new public health and environmental standards seem vast, but they need not paralyze us. The tools I am proposing will help attract additional private capital for the long-term, reliable investments that well-run water utilities provide. These tools will also provide municipalities with additional flexibility to deliver cost-effective and sustainable solutions in addressing their water and wastewater system and for improving their overall fiscal health.”