Mr. President, Invest in Water Infrastructure

Posted by Jeff Eger
Nov. 7, 2012
 

 

The Obama administration will face a number of economic challenges over the next four years — one of which is the urgent need to modernize and replace the country’s aging water infrastructure. Such investment will help put Americans back to work and better prepare the country for dealing with extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

 

Our essential water infrastructure is failing and is woefully inadequate to address the "new normal" weather patterns. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s drinking and wastewater infrastructure a D-minus grade. Broken and leaking pipes cause the loss of nearly two trillion gallons of drinking water per year at an annual cost of $2.6 billion.  Restoring existing drinking water systems and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years. At current funding levels, there will be a funding gap of at least $224 billion nationwide over the next 20 years.

 

Some argue that we can’t afford these investments during a time of economic distress, but as Sandy demonstrated,  we cannot afford to neglect our infrastructure any longer.  We must have reliable and resilient water infrastructure systems to attract and retain industry, business, and qualified workers, which are essential to any thriving community.  The National Association of Utility Contractors estimates that for every $1 billion invested in water infrastructure, 26,000 jobs are created. Water infrastructure investment is also critical to protect public health and our quality of life, and it promotes innovative technologies that will help keep America competitive.

 

This is not a partisan issue – it is an American issue and we need renewed political will, leadership, and cooperation to find solutions to the funding gap. With millions of Americans out of work, the timing could not be better to reinvest in our water infrastructure, create jobs, boost the nation’s economy, and get more prepared for the next wet weather emergency. WEF looks forward to working with the administration to help make that happen.

 

 

 11/07/2012Permanent link

Mr. President, Invest in Water Infrastructure  ()
 

The Obama administration will face a number of economic challenges over the next four years — one of which is the urgent need to modernize and replace the country’s aging water infrastructure. Such investment will help put Americans back to work and better prepare the country for dealing with extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

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Mr. President, Invest in Water Infrastructure

 Permanent link

Mr. President, Invest in Water Infrastructure

Posted by Jeff Eger
Nov. 7, 2012
 

 

The Obama administration will face a number of economic challenges over the next four years — one of which is the urgent need to modernize and replace the country’s aging water infrastructure. Such investment will help put Americans back to work and better prepare the country for dealing with extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy.

 

Our essential water infrastructure is failing and is woefully inadequate to address the "new normal" weather patterns. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave the nation’s drinking and wastewater infrastructure a D-minus grade. Broken and leaking pipes cause the loss of nearly two trillion gallons of drinking water per year at an annual cost of $2.6 billion.  Restoring existing drinking water systems and expanding them to serve a growing population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years. At current funding levels, there will be a funding gap of at least $224 billion nationwide over the next 20 years.

 

Some argue that we can’t afford these investments during a time of economic distress, but as Sandy demonstrated,  we cannot afford to neglect our infrastructure any longer.  We must have reliable and resilient water infrastructure systems to attract and retain industry, business, and qualified workers, which are essential to any thriving community.  The National Association of Utility Contractors estimates that for every $1 billion invested in water infrastructure, 26,000 jobs are created. Water infrastructure investment is also critical to protect public health and our quality of life, and it promotes innovative technologies that will help keep America competitive.

 

This is not a partisan issue – it is an American issue and we need renewed political will, leadership, and cooperation to find solutions to the funding gap. With millions of Americans out of work, the timing could not be better to reinvest in our water infrastructure, create jobs, boost the nation’s economy, and get more prepared for the next wet weather emergency. WEF looks forward to working with the administration to help make that happen.

 

 

Posted by Jon Byus at 11/07/2012 09:42:57 AM | 


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Eger189.jpgPosted by:
Jeff Eger, WEF Executive Director

Prior to joining the Water Environment Federation as executive director in 2011, Jeff Eger served as executive director of Sanitation District 1 (SD1) in Kentucky since 1994. SD1 is the second largest public sewer utility in that state and maintains $1 billion in physical assets that include more than 1,600 miles of sanitary sewer line, 143 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations, eight package treatment plants, two major wastewater treatment plants with a third under construction, more than 250 miles of storm sewer and more than 17,800 sewer structures. Career highlights of his tenure include supervision of the regionalization of 30 municipal sanitary sewer systems in response to pending Federal environmental regulations and legislative changes; responsibility for development and implementation of a regional storm water management program to comply with Federal regulations, and negotiating a unique watershed-based Consent Decree with state and federal officials that outlines a strategic 20-year plan for addressing sewer overflows in Northern Kentucky. He also initiated the design and construction of two new regional wastewater treatment plants and secured more than $80 million in low interest, state revolving loan funds to help finance the construction of these facilities, reducing costs to local rate payers.

Jeff is former chairman of the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission and has been active in numerous other professional and civic service endeavors such as the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, the Gateway Community and Technical College Foundation, the Bluegrass State Skills Commission, and the Kentucky Literacy Commission. He is Outstanding Alumnus of Northern Kentucky University (graduated 1994, Bachelor of Arts, Communications).


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