The Biden Administration unveiled a more than $2 trillion infrastructure package Wednesday which included $111 billion earmarked for improvements to the nation’s drinking water infrastructure.
The American Jobs Plan highlights the need to upgrade and modernize America’s drinking water, wastewater, and storm water systems; including replacing lead pipes, tackling new contaminants and supporting clean water infrastructure across rural America.
Included in the $111 billion investment for drinking water is:
- Replacing all lead pipes and service lines in the nation.
- Modernizing aging water systems by providing $56 billion in grants and low-cost flexible loans to states, Tribes, territories and disadvantaged communities
- Providing $10 billion in funding to monitor and remediate per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water and to invest in rural small water systems and household well and wastewater systems
After the plan was announced by the White House, the American Water Works Association issued a statement thanking the Biden Administration for focusing on the need for more investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
“The American Water Works Association appreciates the Biden Administration’s recognition of the need to strongly reinvest in U.S. drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Our nation’s water systems protect public health, safeguard the environment and allow our economy to prosper. It’s hard to imagine a more important federal investment.”
The National Ag/Water Coalition is urging the Biden Administration to further bolster investment in the nation’s aging water facilities.
“Decades of neglect have rendered our federal water projects unable to meet the human and environmental needs of the West,” Western Growers President and CEO Dave Puglia said. “While highways and bridges are front and center in the administration’s proposal, federal investments in water storage and conveyance would present an opportunity to strengthen our farming and rural communities while providing good-paying jobs and an economic boon for the construction industry.”
Earlier this year, the coalition called on the administration and congressional leaders to invest in a diversified water management portfolio that enhances water supply and quality for urban and environmental uses, while keeping water flowing to Western farms and rural communities.
“Appropriate investments in water infrastructure will assure that underserved rural communities throughout the nation have access to clean, reliable water,” Association of California Water Agencies Director of Federal Relations David Reynolds said. “Water infrastructure funding can help the nation adjust to climate change, better protect the environment and help ensure safe, abundant, local food supplies.”