US Water Prize for Outstanding Public Official: Senator Ben Cardin
Advocating for Safe, Affordable, and Reliable Water for All
Over his long career in Congress, Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland has proven time and time again that he is a champion for America’s water. An advocate for the environment, and especially his home-state Chesapeake Bay, Senator Cardin has introduced legislation to restore the health of America's great water bodies and is a leading proponent of investing in improvements to America's aging water and wastewater infrastructure system. For his tireless work on behalf of the nation’s water, Senator Ben Cardin is the recipient of the 2020 US Water Prize for Outstanding Public Official.
After two decades in the House of Representatives, Mr. Cardin was first elected to the Senate in 2006. He currently serves as Ranking Member of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee and is also a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations, Finance, and Environment & Public Works committees.
Senator Cardin was a key architect of the landmark 2014 Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, which provides funding for critical projects throughout the country. At the time, he served as Chairman of the EPW Water and Wildlife Subcommittee. He also worked on the bipartisan Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act in 2016, and, in 2018, on the America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 as Ranking Member of the EPW Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Senator Cardin has been a tireless advocate for his constituents’ water needs. In 2018 he helped secure $144 million in federal funding for the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority, which also serves Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland. In response to this success, Senator Cardin said, “Our systems are aging and cannot withstand the demands being placed upon them. Investing in our crumbling water and wastewater infrastructure is the right thing to do for public health, the right thing to do for the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and an important source for new, local jobs.”
Senator Cardin is also an advocate for water justice, sponsoring the bipartisan Low-Income Water Customer Assistance Programs Act of 2018. The bill would fund programs designed to assist low income residents with paying their water and wastewater utility bills. After introducing the bill in the Senate, Senator Ben Cardin said, “We all need clean, safe water but as the costs of maintaining our aging water systems rise, not all of us can afford it. If consumers cannot pay their water bills, then utilities cannot make the needed repairs and upgrades to their drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and the whole community suffers. The Federal Government has a responsibility to make sure that our most vulnerable citizens have the water they need without being crushed by the financial burden of their basic needs.”
These historic achievements for our nation’s water, and the citizens who rely on it every day, make Senator Ben Cardin a true One Water leader. Watch our video about Senator Cardin below. Congratulations, Senator Cardin!