Water Sector Comes Together for Water Week 2022, Applauds Federal Infrastructure Investments and Calls for Sustained Support
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National Water Associations Gather In-Person to Emphasize the Importance of Ensuring All Communities Have Access to Safe, Sustainable, Reliable, and Affordable Water Services.
(Washington, D.C.) – Sunday, April 24 marked the beginning of Water Week 2022, as hundreds of water professionals from across the country come together in Washington, D.C. to advocate before Congress and the Administration on behalf of the local communities they serve.
On the heels of the enactment of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and its $55 billion in new funding for water infrastructure over the next five years, Water Week 2022 will focus on how the sector is implementing this historic investment and how the Administration and Congress can further elevate water as a national priority.
U.S. water needs are immense – according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure will require nearly $750 billion over 20 years just to maintain current service levels, a level of need far outpacing present funding. Billions of dollars are also needed for innovative solutions like water recycling that help communities build climate resilience and solve complex water management challenges. It is critical that the federal government recognizes this long-term need and builds on the momentum of BIL by providing sustained investment and sound policymaking to the sector in the years to come.
The cornerstone event of Water Week is the National Water Policy Fly-In on the afternoon of April 27, featuring senior EPA and Bureau of Reclamation officials, Members of Congress, and leaders from across the sector. The Fly-In is co-hosted by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), the Water Environment Federation (WEF), the Water Research Foundation (WRF), and the WateReuse Association.
Ahead of Water Week 2022, NACWA CEO Adam Krantz said, “As an organizer of Water Week 2022, NACWA welcomes the sector to Washington for a week of meaningful engagement with Congress and the Biden Administration on the state of federal water infrastructure investment. The water sector is incredibly grateful for the historic investments included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and looks forward to equitable and efficient implementation of the funds.”
“However, it is critical that this resurgence in federal investment is sustained and amplified in the years to come to meet the vast water needs across the U.S., as exceptional water infrastructure is one of the key foundational building blocks needed to foster healthy, thriving communities.”
“WateReuse Association and our members are excited to take part in Water Week 2022 at this pivotal juncture,” said Executive Director Patricia Sinicropi. “We’re seeing historic investment in water recycling from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and exciting opportunities to improve our communities’ sustainability and resiliency by funding the Alternative Water Source Grants Pilot Program, convening a federal Interagency Working Group on Water Reuse, and establishing an industrial water recycling tax credit. The path forward is clear: innovative water management approaches like water recycling are essential for our communities as they address the threats of climate change and water insecurity.”
WEF Executive Director Walt Marlowe said, “Water Week 2022 is a critical opportunity to renew in-person engagement with members of Congress and federal officials after several years of monumental events and changes that will shape the water sector for many years to come. WEF appreciates the passion and commitment of all water professionals participating in Water Week, and we look forward to sustaining the momentum necessary to improve the nation’s wastewater and stormwater infrastructure for all Americans.”
Peter Grevatt, PhD, WRF CEO said, “The Water Research Foundation is excited to welcome water sector leaders to Washington to build on our success in improving the quality of life in the communities we serve. Our work together ensures that critical policy decisions are guided by the latest research to protect human health and the environment.”
About Water Week
Water Week serves as the water sector’s premier grassroots advocacy event each year, as representatives from public drinking water, wastewater, water recycling, and stormwater utilities and their research institutions gather together to share a unified message to Congress and the Administration about the importance of the work of water professionals, as well as the need for increased federal support for water infrastructure and sound policies to address our water challenges and protect the public health. For more information, please go to waterweek.us.