Invest in Water Infrastructure
Deteriorating water quality and increased flooding threaten businesses and their communities across America. Investment in modernizing our nation’s failing water infrastructure will improve water quality, help us cope with flooding, stimulate the economy, create millions of jobs and save American companies many billions of dollars annually.
Businesses across many sectors depend on clean water, and for many business – like breweries and suppliers for water-based recreation and tourism–it is essential. Failing water infrastructure is a leading cause of worsening water quality, namely through sewage overflows and stormwater runoff. Inadequate, obsolete water infrastructure has also contributed to the increased prevalence and severity of river flooding in the United States over the last few decades, shuttering businesses and devastating their communities.
Modernizing our water systems will have further benefits. New innovations in green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and other nature-based solutions, like ecosystem restoration, are often more cost-efficient, effective, and resilient ways of reducing water pollution and flooding than conventional “grey” infrastructure. For example, during Super Storm Sandy in 2012, hydrophilic wetlands prevented $625 million in property damage. GSI can also beautify urban areas, attracting new customers to local businesses. See the following to learn more: https://on.nrdc.org/31fiodN.
Research shows that making the essential investments in water infrastructure would create millions of jobs, generate hundreds of billions of dollars in economic growth, and save American businesses approximately $94 billion a year in retained sales over the next 10 years.
Our long-deferred attention to this issue means that an estimated investment of $470 billion in drinking water infrastructure and $271 billion in storm and wastewater infrastructure is needed over the next 20 years to address our national deficit in water infrastructure spending and the increasing challenges that businesses and communities face from polluted waterways and flooding.