The Debate Over Infrastructure Spending - America’s Water Systems - the Forgotten Story
March 1, 2018
By Mark Riso, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Recently, the White House released a proposal that it said would stimulate $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure spending through a $200 billion federal investment. The White House also announced that the other $1.3 trillion would come from new state, local and private spending as a result of its spending plan. All too often, lawmakers, the media, and the general public refer to infrastructure as roads, highways, and bridges - however, infrastructure is as much about America’s water systems as it is about how we (as a nation) move people and products.
Last year, the American Society of Civil Engineers released its “2017 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure,” which gave the nation’s infrastructure a “D+” grade with wastewater and drinking water scoring a “D+” and “D” respectively.
The Center for Neighborhood Technology estimates that approximately 6 billion gallons of water could be wasted in the U.S. every day.
The Penn Wharton Budget Model team found that the new federal investment would lead, at most, to an additional $30 billion in state, local and private spending, or about 2 percent of the amount envisioned by the White House.
Meanwhile, the Administration is arguing that opponents failed to account for global investments in U.S. infrastructure and included unrealistically low projections of the impact of new federal incentives for state investments.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has begun the process of drafting the legislation. PHCC will keep you abreast of their progress and notify you on how you can provide feedback to lawmakers.