In the letter to the Appropriations Committee, the Senators stressed the urgent need to revitalize the nation's deteriorating water infrastructure, which poses risks to human health and the environment from broken water and sewer mains and sewage overflows. The senators indicated that U.S. EPA estimates that over the next 20 years $187.9 billion is needed for wastewater improvements and $334.8 billion is needed to upgrade our nation's drinking water systems. The letter also highlighted the tremendous job-creating potential of water infrastructure investment, which yields significant economic benefits for every dollar spent. The National Association of Utility Contractors estimates that $1 billion invested in water infrastructure can create more than 26,000 jobs.
Joining Senators Cardin, Boxer and Inhofe on the letter to Appropriations Committee are U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), John Boozman (R-AR), Chris Coons (D-DE), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Tim Johnson (D-SD), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Carl Levin (D-MI), Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), John Thune (R-SD), Mark Udall (D-CO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR).
In their letter the senators said in part, "Investments in water infrastructure provide significant economic benefits to the economy and enjoy a strong return on investment. The U.S. Conference of Mayors notes that each public dollar invested in water infrastructure increases private long-term GDP output by $6.35. The National Association of Utility Contractors estimates that one billion dollars invested in water infrastructure can create over 26,000 jobs. In addition, the Department of Commerce estimates that each job created in the local water and sewer industry creates 3.68 jobs in the national economy and each public dollar spent yields $2.62 dollars in economic output in other industries. As you can see, this is a highly leveraged Federal investment that results in significant job and economic benefits for every dollar spent. It is critical that the federal government remains a reliable partner in meeting the nation's clean water and safe drinking water needs. Therefore, we urge your continued support for investments in the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds."