NACWA Active in Advancing Clean Water Advocacy via Media
(March 3, 2021) – NACWA and its members have actively made the case for clean water policies in the media over the past few weeks, with media hits ranging from congressional testimony excerpts to highlighting the need for greater financial relief for low-income water customers.
There has been substantial media coverage of the February 23 hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environmental Subcommittee where NACWA Board Member OJ McFoy testified on the need for greater federal investment in the water sector.
Bloomberg ran an article referencing McFoy’s testimony and noting that, “a backlog of water infrastructure needs exist in communities, especially those that are historically disadvantaged, across the country. The pandemic has exacerbated the problem, according to the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. The association estimated that the pandemic’s financial impact on the public clean water sector” will be in the billions of dollars.
The Engineering News-Record also featured an in-depth story on McFoy’s congressional testimony. The publication stated that, “McFoy, testifying for the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, said that as water infrastructure deteriorated, ratepayers were unable to afford the maintenance, repairs and needed replacement of water infrastructure. He told the subcommittee, ‘The key to ending this cycle and restoring a sense of equity to our water utility system is having a re-engaged federal partner that is willing to help fund water infrastructure work that will allow cities to modernize their systems.’”
On February 26, NACWA CEO Adam Krantz was also featured in Politico’s Morning Energy newsletter as part of a larger story about the financial needs of public water utilities and why affordability challenges are a pressing issue. Krantz noted that “a new regulation to make sure that your drinking water is safe or your wastewater is treated for a chemical that would make everybody safer will come at a cost. To comply with that cost will demand a rate increase, and that rate increase will arguably hit those who are poorer in a greater way, in terms of their relative-to-income ability to pay."
Bloomberg published an extensively researched story on February 25 about the need for more funding in order to make water utilities resilient to climate change. NACWA’s David Zielonka was quoted saying, “this is a good example of how the climate crisis is really a water issue” and he noted the need for more federal assistance to help utilities address resiliency challenges.
Also on February 25, Adam Krantz was featured in The Guardian as part of its year-long investigation into water issues in the U.S. Krantz highlighted the need for urgent funding relief for utilities, explaining, “the federal government’s absence has left many public utilities in crisis and in need of urgent relief. The pandemic and Texas have shown that we need a massive program of long term funding to rebuild our country’s interconnected infrastructure and bring it up to 21st-century standards, with water as a key focus.”
Kristina Surfus, NACWA’s Managing Director of Government Affairs, also did a recent wide-ranging interview with Circle of Blue, focusing on the upcoming second tranche of federal funding for the Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Program. She explained in the interview that the funding is not near the amount needed to address low-income water customer needs that have grown substantially in the year since the pandemic upended American life but is an important step in the right direction.
To discuss NACWA’s media presence or for assistance with your utility’s media relations efforts, please contact David Zielonka, NACWA’s Manager of Media and Communications.