DENVER (CO) -- U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) and U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) and Geoffrey Davis (R-KY) recently introduced the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Act of 2011, which would remove state volume caps for water and wastewater projets. The American Water Works Association (AWWA) issued the following statement:
“The American Water Works Association applauds the introduction of the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Act of 2011. AWWA has documented the challenge of financing the repair and replacement of aging water infrastructure for more than a decade. This legislation enlarges the pool of capital available to address a critical national concern.
“Greater use of private activity bonds should benefit water consumers served by those utilities that make use of this tool. If more funds are currently available to make needed investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, fewer critical projects will be deferred – a practice that typically results in more expensive fixes. These higher costs ultimately are reflected in customers’ bills.
“Increased investment in water infrastructure also spurs job creation and is good for the economy. A 2008 study by the U.S. Conference of Mayors estimated that for every dollar invested in water and wastewater services nearly nine dollars are added to the national economy.
“While the removal of water projects from the private activity bond volume cap is a good step forward in addressing water infrastructure needs, AWWA continues to work for additional financing solutions. AWWA is encouraging the creation of a federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority (WIFIA), which would make low-cost loans available directly to water projects and to State Revolving Funds. Over time, WIFIA would result in substantial savings for water providers and their customers.”
AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the entire water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.