Clean Water Advocacy - News Releases - September 19, 2001

September 19, 2000
Contact: John Millett, 202/833-4651, AMSA

AMSA Urges Support for ‘Water 21'

Washington, DC – The Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA) welcomes the Water Infrastructure Caucus’s announcement. The Caucus clearly recognizes that the time has come to put strong water infrastructure legislation – "Water 21" – on the nation’s environmental agenda during the 107th Congress.

The nation’s drinking water and wastewater facilities face an alarming $1 trillion in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding needs over the next twenty years, presenting an enormous national challenge. Over the next 20 years communities will spend $23 billion annually on water infrastructure, but there is another $23-billion-a-year funding gap during this period 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 the Water Infrastructure Network, AMSA helped develop Clean & Safe Water for the 21st Century, a report that 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 the complete report 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 the leadership 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, America can bridge the water infrastructure funding gap," Kirk said. "AMSA pledges its full support to this initiative."