U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled a more than $2 trillion infrastructure package, known as The American Jobs Plan March 31. For the water sector, the proposal includes $111 billion for drinking water infrastructure improvements, as well as additional funding to upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater and storm water systems.
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The American Jobs Plan
Another notable aspect of the American Jobs Plan is its goal to replace 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines.
American Water Works Association
In The American Water Works Association’s response, the association vocalized its appreciation of several aspects of the American Jobs Plan, including the investment of $45 billion to address lead in drinking water in homes and schools, the allocation of $56 billion towards infrastructure programs, and $10 billion for monitoring and remediation of per- and polyfluorinated substances (PFAS).
National Association of Clean Water Agencies
Nathan Gardner-Andrews, general counsel and chief advocacy officer of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), expressed support for the proposal in the NACWA statement.
“The public clean water sector applauds President Biden’s commitment to strengthening federal investment in water infrastructure,” Gardner-Andrews said in the NACWA statement. “Safe water is as important as safe roadways, and the numbers proposed in the President’s plan are a good starting point to increase federal investment in water infrastructure.”
Additionally, the statement of support from NACWA noted that the cost of providing clean water services to protect public health and the environment is rising and that “the federal investment has not kept pace, leading ever-greater costs to be managed by utilities and their customers.”
NACWA concluded the statement by expressing that the agency is looking forward to working with the White House and Congress in addressing water challenges.
American Society of Civil Engineers
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) also applauded President Biden’s American Jobs Plan, noting the following investments in its statement of support:
- $621 billion dedicated to modernizing surface transportation networks;
- $25 billion investment to airports;
- $111 billion for clean drinking water;
- $100 billion for broadband; and
- $17 billion to inland waterways and ports.
According to ASCE, the investments proposed in the American Jobs Plan could result in raising the ASCE 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure grade, in which the nation earned a ‘C-’ grade. Not only that, but the proposal would likely generate long-term economic gains for American families and businesses.
ASCE also referenced its study, Failure to Act: Economic Impacts of Status Quo Investment Across Infrastructure Systems, which determined the underinvestment in infrastructure and resulting consequences will have a “cascading effect” on the economy over the next 20 years.
National Ag Water Coalition
National Ag. is a national coalition of more than 200 agricultural organizations and urban and rural water districts, including the Association of California Clean Water Agencies and the National Water Resources association. The coalition responded to the American Jobs Plan with a few suggestions, particularly to strengthen investment in the nation’s aging water facilities.
The coalition’s statement regarding the proposal mentioned the need to create more water infrastructure, including “above- and below-ground water storage facilities, conveyance and desalination, along with federal financing mechanisms for such water projects.”
“To ensure that food can continue to be safely and affordably produced in the West, and that rural communities continue to have access to the water critical to their economies, it is important that water supply investment be included as a necessary component of a national infrastructure package,” said Jamie Johansson, California Farm Bureau President, in the National Ag. statement.
Read the complete White House Fact Sheet of the American Jobs Plan for more detailed information on transportation, broadband and energy infrastructure improvements mentioned in the bill.
Learn more about how the American Jobs Plan impacts the water industry.