Clean Water Current

Infrastructure Advisory Council Releases Preliminary Report on Water Sector Challenges

Sep 7, 2023

The President’s National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC) released a draft report in late August examining the current challenges facing the nation’s water infrastructure and outlining a series of recommendations to better prepare the water sector for potential upcoming crises.  

The report concludes that to successfully address the issues that may confront the water sector in the future, there must be a coordinated effort among utilities, operators, and local, Federal, and state government. This effort must be focused on delivering results that strengthen the security and resilience of the nation’s water infrastructure.   

The report’s recommendations include creating, incentivizing, and enforcing standards for water use and quality; removing barriers to new and innovative funding of water projects; investing in innovation to increase storage, access, and management options for the future; assisting low-income and vulnerable populations; increasing national resiliency to drought, floods, and other water-related crises; and investing in the water infrastructure workforce.   

The report also emphasizes the need to elevate the importance of water in the public consciousness and at the national policy level, including by creating a Department of Water or some similar entity at the Cabinet level to direct and oversee water issues.   

The NIAC is composed of senior executives from industry and state and local government who own and operate the critical infrastructure essential to modern life. The NIAC was established by executive order in October 2001 to advise the President on practical strategies for industry and government to reduce complex risks to the designated critical infrastructure sectors.  

The report was developed by a subcommittee of the NIAC focused on water issues and will now go to the full Council for review and finalization. Members with questions can contact Nathan Gardner-Andrews, NACWA’s Chief Advocacy & Policy Officer, with questions.  

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