Majority of Americans Willing To Pay for Water Infrastructure

April 17, 2016

WEF Resources & Efforts

Results from the Value of Water Coalition poll revealed that after learning more about water issues, 60% of respondents were willing to pay more to ensure safe and secure water service. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

Results from the Value of Water Coalition poll revealed that after learning more about water issues, 60% of respondents were willing to pay more to ensure safe and secure water service. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

A national poll in January revealed that Americans are concerned about the state of water infrastructure and are willing to support efforts to invest and modernize systems to maintain reliable water and wastewater services.

The Value of Water Coalition released results from its poll on public attitudes and concerns about water. The coalition, which includes the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) and 30 other organizations, is working to advance solutions to U.S. water challenges.

In addition, 95% of repondents felt it was important or very important for public officials to invest in water systems as well as improve and modernize systems. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

In addition, 95% of repondents felt it was important or very important for public officials to invest in water systems as well as improve and modernize systems. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

The poll revealed that, after receiving information about water issues, 60% of respondents were willing to pay more through their water bills for water infrastructure to ensure safer, reliable, and secure water service. This reflects a 13% increase in those willing to pay for services after learning more about the challenges.

“It’s clear that a dialogue is needed on appropriate policy steps to guarantee a sustainable and strong local‐state‐federal partnership to address America’s enormous water infrastructure challenges,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Everyone uses water so its management is really a shared responsibility. We are greatly encouraged by the poll results, which show an increased public recognition of how essential it is to have clean water and safe, reliable infrastructure and the importance of everyone doing their part.”

In addition, 95% of respondents felt it was important or very important for public officials to invest in water systems so that communities would not have to face a situation similar to that in Flint, Mich. Also, 95% said it was important to improve and modernize systems. The most pressing topics for respondents were being able to drink straight from the tap, treating wastewater in a safe and environmentally responsible way, and having an affordable water bill. Concerns remained consistent across various regions, political leanings, income levels, and racial identities.

The poll shows that the majority of Americans recognize the importance of reliable infrastructure for safe sources of water. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

The poll shows that the majority of Americans recognize the importance of reliable infrastructure for safe sources of water. Photo courtesy of the Value of Water Coalition.

“This is a critical time and important opportunity to have a conversation across the country about the importance of investing in our water systems,” said Radhika Fox, director of the Value of Water Coalition and CEO of the U.S. Water Alliance. “As a nation, we must prioritize investment in our water systems—to maintain high-quality water service today and for future generations.”

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