Water is too essential to wait
November 8, 2021 – OAKLAND, CA – The US House of Representatives passed the bipartisan infrastructure package on Friday night, known at the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, by a vote of 228 to 206 (having previously passed the Senate in August). The bill is expected to be quickly signed by President Biden. This legislation marks a historic investment in infrastructure, with $550 billion in spending on transportation, energy, and water—including more than $55 billion in water infrastructure.
Mami Hara, US Water Alliance CEO, said: “We are thrilled to see this historic investment in our nation’s water infrastructure, and we look forward to deploying our network to achieve the best implementation for these funds. We also look forward to the forthcoming Reconciliation legislation, which also potentially includes additional important water and climate provisions. Investing in infrastructure—specifically water—has vast support from the overwhelming majority of Americans. Water is too essential to wait.”
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will pour resources into programs that get funding into the hands of localities. This is a remarkable and historic first step towards reversing the widening investment gap between the amount of money our water infrastructure needs and what is annually spent.
Hara continued, “For years, the Alliance and our partners have sought a more equity-centered approach to water infrastructure investment and policy. I’m pleased this bill moves in that direction. And while this legislation is not without its gaps, we must immediately begin the work within the Alliance’s network and the water sector as a whole to make the most of this investment and ensure that this money is transformational for the communities that need it the most.”
“As the new CEO of the Alliance, I want to thank the former CEO and now EPA Assistant Administrator for Water, Radhika Fox, for her vision and commitment to equitable infrastructure investment. I also want to thank the Alliance team and our members and supporters—particularly those involved in the Value of Water Campaign—for all they did to help make this vision a reality. There is much work ahead of us, but I am confident that we can come together as a sector to deliver on the once-in-a-generation promise that this funding offers.”
Read more about the US Water Alliance’s reaction to the infrastructure package the Senate passed in August for additional analysis.