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On Tap in Washington, April 2018

Scott Berry, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, US Water Alliance | April 26, 2018

Being a Champion of the Water Message

The Value of Water Campaign just released its third annual national poll and for the third year in a row Americans resoundingly support investment in water infrastructure. Voters overwhelmingly want the president and Congress to focus on infrastructure, more than any other of the big issues the President campaigned on. That support remains strong for water infrastructure when asked about specifically - more than three-quarters of American voters believe it is extremely or very important for the President and Congress to invest in our water and wastewater infrastructure.

Eighty-eight percent of voters polled support increasing federal investment to rebuild our water infrastructure – including pipes, pumps, reservoirs, treatment plants, and other facilities – to ensure safe, reliable water service for all communities. Perhaps even more crucially, voters overwhelmingly support a proactive program of water infrastructure upgrades rather than waiting to fix problems with these critical systems as they arise. They maintain this support even when told that the costs exceed $1 trillion. Across the age, gender, geographical, and political spectrums, majorities believe that rebuilding our water infrastructure is extremely or very important.

This is great news. That all kinds of Americans agree so thoroughly on water infrastructure investment even when faced with high costs is impressive and speaks to the uniting force of water. No matter who you are, what you believe, or what industry you work in, water is essential to your success. That’s why this month, hundreds of leaders from around the US descended on Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers about the importance of water issues and elevate water infrastructure investment as national priority. This was part of an event known as Water Week, coordinated by several groups working on behalf of the water sector.

It is always a good time to talk to your local, state, and national leaders about the value of water and the infrastructure that carries it, but this is an especially important time. With the upcoming midterm elections, everyone’s mind is on what voters want. Now is a great opportunity to point out to policymakers that our poll shows that there is no political risk to supporting water infrastructure. It is a great opportunity to ask leaders questions about what plans they have for investing in the systems that ensure your area’s economic viability, environmental quality, and public health. You might even keep this in mind as Imagine a Day Without Water approaches this fall. These poll results showed us, now is a great time to be a water champion.