WEF’s Water for Jobs Campaign Promotes Water Infrastructure Investment

October 19, 2012

Featured

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Va.) is spreading the word that investing in water infrastructure is an investment in American jobs and America’s future.

In partnership with WEF Member Associations, American Public Works Association (Kansas City. Mo.), American Water (Voorhees, N.J.), American Water Works Association (Denver), CH2M Hill (Englewood, Colo.), the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (Washington, D.C.), National Association of Water Cos. (Washington, D.C.), United Water (Harrington Park, N.J.), Xylem Inc. (White Plains, N.Y.), and Veolia Water (Chicago), WEF has launched the Water for Jobs: Water Puts America to Work campaign.

“With millions of Americans out of work, there has never been a more critical time to reinvest in our essential water infrastructure,” said WEF Executive Director Jeff Eger. “WEF and our partners are working together to deliver the message that water investment must be a national priority.”

The campaign makes a business case for water infrastructure investment by emphasizing the link between investment and job creation. In addition, investment is needed to address the growing infrastructure crisis; our nation’s drinking and wastewater infrastructure received a D- grade in the most recent American Society of Civil Engineers (Reston, Va.) Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which was the lowest grade received by any category of infrastructure. America’s infrastructure now is ranked 23rd in the world, falling behind many developed nations, which could effect American performance in a global market.

Updating aging water and wastewater infrastructure is necessary to prevent disruption in water delivery and wastewater treatment services. And it is less costly to address these issues proactively rather than by responding to emergencies.

“Investment drives innovation and new technology. Moreover, it is necessary to safeguard public health and prevent water-borne illnesses,” said Amanda Waters, WEF Government Affairs counsel.

“It is estimated that an investment of $188.4 billion over the next five years would generate $265.6 billion in economic activity and create nearly 1.9 million jobs,” Eger said. “By allowing the gap between needs and investment to grow, we not only miss an opportunity to address unemployment, but also create a threat to existing jobs and businesses. It’s time for water to take its rightful place in the national conversation and to become a top-agenda item for our elected officials.”

Jennifer Fulcher, WEF Highlights

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