WEF Needs YOU to be a Water Advocate!

WE are the experts.

Let’s speak with a loud, united voice. Speak up. Share your knowledge. It is more important now than ever. Inform government decision-makers and the public about the importance of water. 

Aging infrastructure, strict requirements, and continued economic pressures have put unprecedented stress on local governments and agencies that provide essential water services. Elected officials are being called upon to make tough choices that will impact water quality and the viability of our communities for generations to come.

We know there is a better path—a path that leads to public appreciation for the value of water, investment in our essential water infrastructure, and a better quality of life for our states and communities.

WEF’s Water Advocates Program is a simple and effective way for you to become more involved with engaging elected officials and the public on important water issues. The Water Advocates Program provides training and engagement to promote grassroots advocacy before elected officials and the public with the goal of creating a network of trained water advocates in every state.

Email Amy Kathman to join the Water Advocates program:  akathman@wef.org 

Include your name, title, organization, address, e-mail, and telephone number. After you sign up, you will be in the Water Advocates program and receive important announcements about actions you can take to help.

Water needs YOUR voice. Sign up to be a Water Advocate.


Support Water Infrastructure

Investing in the country’s water infrastructure is critical. Water infrastructure impacts all Americans, as it protects public health and the environment and drives the economy. In fact, closing the investment gap in water infrastructure would generate more than $220 billion in annual economic activity and generate 1.3 million jobs over 10 years.

In a recent survey of American’s opinions on the value of investing in our water resources, 78% of respondents said it’s “extremely or very important” that the President and Congress develop a plan to rebuild America’s water infrastructure. The same survey found that 88% of respondents agreed that increased federal investment was needed to rebuild water infrastructure.

As Congress develops a comprehensive infrastructure proposal, we urge you to remind your Members that water infrastructure is often co-located with transportation infrastructure, such as roadways and bridges. When roadways are dug up or bridges rebuilt, it would be less expensive to rehabilitate water lines at that point in time instead of digging them up again.

In addition, the cost of water service to low-income customers is an increasing concern and the U.S. federal contributions to water infrastructure finance help local utilities cushion the costs of water service to customers.

In the 116th Congress, as water infrastructure packages are introduced, vetted, and debated and hopefully a final, bipartisan plan is turned into law, it is critical to include federal investment in water infrastructure.  Support for increased funding for water infrastructure is essential to safeguard public health, protect the environment, promote economic growth, and ensure community resiliency. 




Support Full Federal Funding for Water Science and Technology Research

Write Your Members of Congress Today!
Population growth, aging infrastructure, increasing urbanization, and extreme events are growing threats to water quality and demand on water resources.  Research can increase understanding of the potential impacts of these on public health and water quality. It can also lead to new and improved methods to mitigate health risks and damage to the environment, enhanced resource recovery (nutrients, energy, and water) from wastewater treatment, provision of sufficient water for energy and food, opportunities for U.S. companies in a growing global marketplace, and cost-effective infrastructure repair and replacement.

We need to request that funding be increased or at least maintained for water research programs at the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, National Science Foundation, and Bureau of Reclamation.  Funding for water science and technology research is essential to the continued protection of public health and the environment.

It is important to write Congress today and request increased funding and programmatic support to bolster efforts in the water sector to develop innovative technologies and approaches!




National Priorities Water Research Grant Program

Over the last five years, Congress’s support of the National Priorities Water Research program has advanced the water science research through applied, extramural research projects. This successful program provides direct benefit to water sector utilities through increased knowledge, tools, and models that can improve public health outcomes and lower costs for municipalities. However, more funding is needed.

In the Senate version of the minibus appropriations measure (H.R. 6147), which includes EPA funding, the National Priorities Water Research grant program will receive $5 million.  The House bill funds the program at $4.1 million – which is level to FY18 funding. 

The slight increase in funding for this competitive grant program will help support transformative research approaches that will enable the water sector to respond to current and future challenges. Since 2012, Congress supported the National Priorities Water Research grant program by providing approximately $4 million per year in EPA’s Science and Technology Account. Extramural research enables Federal agencies to focus research on the most pressing national needs of the water sector.  Even a slight increase to $5 million can make a difference.

Future investment in early-stage, transformative technologies is also needed to allow the sector to grow and adapt. National Priorities Water Research not only benefits the water sector, it also benefits the economy. A recent report from the Value of Water Campaign shows that water infrastructure innovation and investment have the potential to add $220 billion to the economy and support 1.3 million jobs.

Support $5 million for the National Priorities Water Research Grant Program!



"It is exciting to be a part of what WEF’s Water Advocates Program can do through grassroots efforts concerning water policy in the legislative and regulatory arenas. It is more critical that our elected officials hear from their constituents on water matters to understand how policies could affect, positively or negatively, the utilities in their home state."

“Mobilization of member associations as water advocates is a powerful tool that WEF can empower to promote good water policy that protects public health and the environment and is fiscally the right thing for our water and wastewater utilities.”

Scott Cummings
CH2M Hill
WEF House of Delegates
Alabama WEA Government Affairs Committee Chair
Past Member of WEF Board of Trustees
Past Alabama WEA President


“It is necessary and effective for NYWEA and WEF members to advocate for our environmental causes in Washington. It is critical that elected officials hear our voices so that they will support our nation’s need for increased funding for clean water projects.”

Steven A. Fangmann, P.E.
D&B Engineers and Architects, P.C.
President, New York Water Environment Association


“The water advocacy grassroots effort works! Your representatives at the local, state, and federal level need and want to hear from us—about the issues our industry faces and solutions that will help resolve them. The more the message is heard, the more the problems are understood and, therefore, the more willing they become to work together to help make change by way of legislation.”

Douglas P. Clark
WPC Superintendent, City of Bowling Green, Ohio
WEF House of Delegate, Ohio WEA Government Affairs
Committee Vice Chair—Legislative Affairs

WEF Government Affairs Committee

The Committee shall provide direction and leadership on the formation of government environmental policies, interaction with WEF members and MAs on these policies, and implementation of sound environmental policies.

Visit the Government Affairs Committee page.

More WEF Advocacy Programs

WEF pursues many different advocacy and outreach through several programs aimed at various audiences. Explore these opportunties via the links below.