“Any economic stimulus package should include funding in the form of low-interest loans at the state level to allow municipalities to continue to undertake water and wastewater infrastructure projects. A combination of public/private partnerships, bond issuances and other resources also will be important.”
Correll, also the president of the National Association of Water Companies, was commenting on the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2009 report card on the nation’s infrastructure. The nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructures each earned a D-minus grade in the 2009 report. The ASCE report card is posted at www.asce.org/reportcard/2009.
To address aging infrastructure, Pennsylvania American Water has been continuously and proactively investing in its systems to ensure reliable water and wastewater service for customers, investing approximately $195 million in 2008 and approximately $160 million in 2007.
In 2006, the ASCE issued a report card for Pennsylvania that rated the water infrastructure D-plus, with the state’s wastewater infrastructure earning a D-minus grade. Furthermore, the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Task Force, formed last year by Governor Rendell, has reported that the state’s water and wastewater systems need $36.5 billion for capital repairs and upgrades over next 20 years. The panel also found that Pennsylvania needs $77.1 billion for operations, management and debt service over next 20 years.
“Recognizing that the economic stimulus package will focus foremost on immediate job creation, it also is vital that those efforts include critical areas of our nation’s infrastructure – such as water and wastewater – generating a dual benefit for the nation,” added Correll.