Over the last several years numerous groups and agencies have repeatedly noted the extreme need for repairs to America’s water infrastructure. The status of our aging and deteriorating infrastructure has been reported by the ASCE as requiring an investment of $3.6T investment by 2020 (www.infrastructurereportcard.org/ ).
The ICWP has long advocated for greater federal investment in America’s water infrastructure to ensure reliable supplies for our communities and businesses during droughts, as well as protection against flooding and storm surge destruction. During a recent Senate hearing, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard from experts at the Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Congressional Research Service and the DC Water and Sewer Authority, and the most compelling testimony was provided by our friend General Galloway, who is now at the University of Maryland (July 25, 2013, “Aging US Water Infrastructure: A Badly Neglected National Problem.” http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/files/serve?File_id=d38e698d-4477-4573-aa55-83c195398a7
Agency budgets are tight across the board, but there seems to be a growing appreciation for strategic investment in America’s infrastructure, especially while interest rates are at historic low levels and “Jobs-Jobs-Jobs” is toe top economic priority. We will be exploring the utility of various infrastructure assistance programs and the opportunity to engage private sector expertise and capitol during our October 15-17 conference in Denver, and hope that you can participate.
Submitted by Joseph Hoffman, PE, retired Executive Director of the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, and former Chairman of the ICWP Board of Directors.