Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - April 12, 2000

April 12, 2000
Contact: John Millett, 202/833-4651, AMSA

Congress Mobilizes to Address Clean Water Infrastructure Funding Gap

Washington, DC — With the formation of the Water Infrastructure Caucus, Congress is mobilizing to aid local communities in ensuring clean and safe water for the future by acting upon information released today by the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) — a broad coalition that includes mayors, drinking water and wastewater service providers, environmental groups and environmental engineers. WIN's Clean & Safe Water for the 21st Century projects an alarming $1 trillion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding needs over the next twenty years, presenting an enormous national challenge. Although communities already spend $23 billion annually on water infrastructure, there is another $23-billion-a-year funding gap that may prevent drinking water and wastewater systems from replacing and rehabilitating aging facilities to meet current and future federal regulations.

As a member of WIN, the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) helped develop Clean & Safe Water for the 21st Century, which calls for a significantly enhanced federal role in financing the infrastructure that Americans rely on for clean and safe water — from the environment to the tap. Long a top priority for the nation's wastewater treatment agencies, increased federal funding for wastewater infrastructure is crucial to America's health, environment and economy, the WIN report says. Copies of Clean & Safe Water for the 21st Century are available online at

“Local governments alone cannot keep pace with the skyrocketing costs of new drinking water and wastewater infrastructure required to meet federal regulations and to accommodate growth. The benefits of clean and safe water are felt nationally, but local governments pay 90 percent of the costs to build, upgrade or rehabilitate drinking water and wastewater systems. The federal government must renew its role in funding water and wastewater infrastructure. Many communities cannot bear the costs without raising water and sewer bills beyond the reach of many Americans,” AMSA Executive Director Ken Kirk said.

“The announcement today by key Members of Congress of the formation of the Water Infrastructure Caucus is welcome news for all Americans that depend on clean and safe water in all aspects of their daily lives — at home, at work and at play,” Kirk added. “By identifying such pressing needs and reaching out across party lines to find solutions, the leadership demonstrated in the formation of the Water Infrastructure Caucus is truly admirable and far-sighted,” Kirk said. “AMSA pledges its full support to this initiative.”

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The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies represents the interests of the nation's municipal wastewater treatment agencies. Its members serve the majority of the sewered population in the United States and collectively treat and reclaim over 18 billion gallons of wastewater each day. AMSA's members are true environmental practitioners dedicated to protecting and improving the quality of the nation's waters.