There is no issue more central to NACWA’s advocacy than increasing the availability of infrastructure funding for public clean water utilities, which includes increased federal funding to support this critical infrastructure sector.
Originally founded in 1970 as an organization focused on ensuring appropriate distribution of federal construction grant dollars under the Clean Water Act, the Association has maintained a strong commitment to advancing federal clean water funding. At the same time, NACWA has also evolved over the years to recognize the importance of other water infrastructure funding mechanisms including municipal bonds, innovative financing approaches, and public-private partnerships.
NACWA recognizes that discussions of infrastructure investment cannot be divorced from the critical issues related to affordability. The reality is that many local governments and their utilities are facing huge affordability challenges. Some have shrinking rate bases, but even those with growing populations are witnessing increasing segments of their rate base that are unable to afford the rising costs of clean water. In short, higher costs for water infrastructure investments are disproportionately impacting the poorest segments of a given community’s populations.
NACWA has developed a philosophy that guides our advocacy on infrastructure funding and affordability issues. At the same time, we routinely produce, and monitor documents related to these critical topics. The Association had significant success in securing increased clean water funding in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 federal budget and is working hard to build on this success for 2019 and beyond.