By Zachary Schafer, Executive Director, Infrastructure Week

April 21, 2016

Infrastructure matters. It matters—in big ways and in small—to our country, our economy, our quality of life, our safety, and our communities. From roads, bridges, rails, ports, airports, pipes, the power grid, and broadband, infrastructure matters to the goods we ship and the companies that make and sell them. It matters to our daily commutes and our summer vacations, to drinking water from our faucets, to the lights in our homes, and ultimately to every aspect of our daily lives.

As the 2016 election looms and critical infrastructure debates take place in city halls, state capitols and in Congress, now is the time to show how #InfrastructureMatters to you, your stakeholders, and your community. That’s why business leaders, policy makers, labor and trade associations, and other stakeholders are coming together for Infrastructure Week 2016, a nonpartisan week of education and advocacy efforts from May 16-23, to elevate infrastructure as a national issue of critical importance.

We are proud to have the Value of Water Coalition join the Infrastructure Week Steering Committee. Water infrastructure is essential to the vitality of our communities—from public health and daily life, to economic growth and environmental sustainability.  Yet, because water infrastructure is primarily underground, these issues are often out of sight and out of mind for the public and for policy makers.

Across the country, the Value of Water Coalition partners and Infrastructure Week affiliates are shining a spotlight on the often invisible water infrastructure challenges in the US. The Value of Water Coalition’s Local Innovators Tour will feature events in Los Angeles, Chicago, Cleveland, Alexandria and Camden, to showcase local solutions to national water infrastructure challenges.

In DC, Infrastructure Week events will elevate water as a critical issue in need of innovation, investment, and cross-sector partnership. Events with the US Chamber of Commerce, National League of Cities, Bipartisan Policy Center, and American Society for Civil Engineers will integrate water issues into the broader national dialogue on infrastructure. During Advocacy Day, mayors, governmental officials, trade and labor associations, business leaders, and non-profit organizations will address infrastructure as a priority for Congress and the Administration to focus on. And at the Infrastructure Week reception, hosted by the Value of Water Coalition, we’ll demonstrate the essential role water plays in our economies and our daily lives.

Building public and political will for water infrastructure investment requires diverse partners and a shared message about the importance of infrastructure to our economy, community and the environment. There are many ways to play a role in Infrastructure Week from planning events to taking part in advocacy efforts in Congress and state legislatures, to being active on social media. Now is the time to educate the nation that #InfrastructureMatters!