For the last several years, two of the US Water Alliance’s primary programs have focused on the importance of investing in our nation’s water infrastructure and advancing an equitable water future. We are incredibly proud of the success our Value of Water Campaign and our Water Equity program have had in increasing appreciation for water infrastructure and in working towards ensuring all people have access to safe and affordable water services, participate in the economic benefits of water investments, and live in climate resilient neighborhoods.
With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last year, we see a unique and necessary confluence of those two topics, infrastructure and equity, which is why we’re proud to announce that the next initiative of the US Water Alliance will be Equitable Infrastructure.
The funding for water in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law won’t be enough to fund all the capital needs in communities across the country, but it can help us find better ways to solve those problems than we have used in the past—ways that can help sustain all of us through an increasingly precarious future.
Communities face threats from climate-driven water insecurity and associated impacts, service disruptions, cyberattacks, public health disasters, and the devastating legacy of water contamination. With sufficient water investment and collaborative and holistic investment approaches, there is potential to avert the costs of recovery from those disasters and instead tap into the power of water to re-nourish and positively transform our communities, our economies, and our personal opportunities.
The water funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law gives us the opportunity to model investment in infrastructure that equitably and sustainably supports community health and wealth.
Through our new Equitable Infrastructure initiative, we will be sharing principles and guidebooks for equitable infrastructure investment, convening webinars about how to access and best administer State Revolving Funds, expanding our Water Equity Network so many communities can work together and exchange knowledge with peers in other communities, hosting related dialogues at our One Water Summit this September in Milwaukee, and so much more. To kick off this initiative, part one of our four-part Principles for Equitable Infrastructure Implementation series is available online here.
The funding from the new federal legislation is designed to be rolled out over a five-year period, but we believe it can shape the water sector and communities for decades—if we do it right. We are committed to digging in with all of you to try to make sure the water sector spends this money, and all investments to come, wisely and equitably to ensure a more sustainable water future for all. I look forward to working with you on this exciting initiative! If you want to learn more about what we’re doing with Equitable Infrastructure, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to hear from you.