A #TimetoBuild and a Time to Invest

Michael Deane, National Association of Water Companies | May 17, 2017

As America’s attention is drawn to Infrastructure Week, the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is working to highlight water infrastructure. When the nation focuses attention on the broad spectrum of infrastructure, it is important for the water sector to have a seat at the infrastructure table.

Across the country, there are conversations about transportation, roads, bridges, ports and airports. Because they’re above ground, it keeps them top-of-mind for consumers, communities and public officials. While all types of infrastructure are important, I would argue water infrastructure is the most critical because no other forms of infrastructure would exist without it. Water is the element upon which everything else depends, regardless of whether we can see the pipes and water mains delivering this life-giving resource to our communities.

Water is essential to every aspect of our lives, and it stands to reason that the systems delivering water are as valuable as the water itself.

However, it’s no secret that in many parts of the country, water service isn’t as reliable as it should be – predominantly due to aging infrastructure. Much of America’s complex network of water systems have outlived their useful life, and the responsibility has fallen to this generation to restore, repair and expand the water infrastructure.

The costs and complexities related to the nation’s water infrastructure are challenging, but there are many proven approaches and solutions that can be deployed today and over the next decade to address these water challenges. Overcoming these challenges will require unprecedented partnerships between the public and private water sectors using a variety of solutions.

There is an immediate need to embrace the value of collaboration between government-owned water systems and private water companies. Globally speaking, this nation’s water quality is among the highest, but that won’t continue without immediate, sustained investment in water infrastructure.

With respect to water infrastructure, the health and safety of America is at stake, and so is the quality of life for the next generation.