“We are grateful to President Obama for his continued commitment to clean water priorities. The President’s investment in clean and safe water is greatly needed and provides benefits to the economy, the environment and public health,” NACWA Executive Director Ken Kirk said. “The funding will help rebuild the nation’s aging wastewater and water infrastructure, ensure clean and safe water and will assist in continued revitalization of our nation’s economy.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) estimate a $300-$500 billion funding gap over 20 years between what is needed to upgrade and repair the nation’s wastewater infrastructure and how much funding is available at all levels of government. Even taking into account the $8.4 billion provided to the CWSRF under the President’s leadership- $4 billion provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), $2.4 billion provided in fiscal year 2010 and $2 billion recommended in fiscal year 2011- there is still a long way to go towards closing this massive gap in a sustainable manner with reliable, annual federal revenue.
“While this investment builds on a robust commitment provided by the Recovery Act and the fiscal year 2010 budget, it is clear that devoid of a long-term, sustainable funding mechanism these important programs are likely to continue to face cuts in the future. For this reason, while we applaud the President for this investment we must continue our efforts to ensure federal funding for clean water priorities is sustainable over time. We look forward to working with the President and Congress in developing a long-term federal commitment to clean water that will provide a sustainable source of funding to help our communities meet their water quality objectives. NACWA believes the best way to accomplish this is through the creation of a clean water trust fund. Our nation has dedicated revenue sources for nearly every other infrastructure system provided funding by the Federal government, why not create one for water, a resource that each of us uses and relies upon every day.” NACWA will continue to work with the Administration and Congress on a long-term federal-state-local partnership to address these funding needs.