NACWA and AMWA Launch Affordable Water, Resilient CommunitiesTM Campaign – Please Join Us!
(February 4, 2021) – Earlier this week, NACWA and the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA) partnered to kicked off a joint Affordable Water, Resilient CommunitiesTM campaign.
Spurred by an increasing amount of legislation and media attention around the issue of water affordability, as well as the opportunities presented by a new presidential administration and a new Congress, the campaign launches with three distinct goals:
- Increase federal investment to the water sector.
- Create a permanent Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Program (LIWCAP).
- Educate policymakers and stakeholders about the realities of the affordability crisis and change the way we talk about the affordability challenge.
As advocates in the water sector know, when the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972, there were generous federal grants to construct much-needed new public clean water infrastructure – from tunnels to treatment plants, and more. Those grants eventually became loans, in the form of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) in the 1980’s. But over time federal investment dropped significantly, and today, the federal cost-share of providing clean water services is just under 5% nationwide.
This overwhelming financial responsibility on public clean water utilities has caused clean water rates to skyrocket – placing an unsustainable burden on low-income households around the country that are struggling to shoulder these costs by themselves.
To that end, NACWA and AMWA believe that if there is simultaneous new federal investment in water infrastructure, coupled with a permanent and reliable LIWCAP, we truly will be able to provide access to affordable water for all Americans.
Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused billions of dollars in lost revenue over the past year to the public water sector. As various private industries receive billions of dollars to help recoup their own losses and stabilize industry, it is only appropriate that America’s public water utilities receive similar assistance.
To support these efforts, we are asking all NACWA members to participate in the campaign. To start, please visit www.affordableh2o.org. There, you will find more information on the history of water investment and our path forward. You can find the advocacy toolkit we have created at https://www.affordableh2o.org/#resources, which includes one-pagers to help spread the message to legislators.
Most importantly at this early stage, we encourage you to check out our social media toolkit - https://www.affordableh2o.org/media-toolkit/, and help spread the message We have created sample social media messages, social media shareables, talking points, and our hashtag for the campaign: #AffordableH2o.
Our ask is that you share these readymade messages and images through your social media channels, as well as spread news of the campaign to your ratepayers and your federal elected officials. You can also add a link to the campaign website on your utility website to help promote our efforts. Together, we can create an online chorus that will grab the attention of lawmakers and the media at both the national and local level.
If you have questions about the campaign, please reach out to Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, or David Zielonka, NACWA’s Manager of Media and Communications.