American Business Water Coalition launched to support water infrastructure investment

(UI) — The American Business Water Coalition (ABWC), established to address the critical need for more federal investment into our nation’s water infrastructure, officially launched on June 13. The coalition’s wastewater, drinking water and stormwater infrastructure are essential for the protection of human and environmental health, and provide for economic prosperity and the high quality of life.

“Investing in water infrastructure in strategic and innovative ways can help us tackle climate change, lift up communities, protect public health, create jobs and strengthen the economy,” said Susan Moisio, global water market director of Jacobs, a Fortune 500 company. “Jacobs is joining ABWC to help raise awareness for and attain the infrastructure funding needed to secure water for our nation’s future.”

It is estimated that restoring the country’s water system to meet the needs of the population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years. Without a dramatic increase in federal investment, every business in America is at major risk, as illustrated in 2019 when water service disruptions resulted in a $51 billion economic loss for just 11 water-reliant industries.

ABWC will serve as a platform for participating businesses—and the utilities that serve them— to urge Congress and the Administration to increase investment in water infrastructure, and foster relationships between businesses and their local utilities. The coalition’s executive team, led by Mae Stevens, senior vice president at Banner Public Affairs (Banner) and chair of the Banner Water Infrastructure Practice, will provide members with the lobbying, public relations, digital, social and design tools and services needed to advocate for building modern and resilient water infrastructure in America.

“Every business is dependent on our nation’s water infrastructure, and underinvestment is costing American businesses every day,” Stevens said. “The federal government currently pays less than five percent of the investment into our nation’s water infrastructure, leaving the other 95 percent of investment to come from the general public. 83 percent of water utilities in the U.S. believe that they cannot maintain a state of good repair without external funding. We need Congress and the Administration to recognize how widespread this situation is and provide adequate funding for this life-sustaining sector. That is why we have launched ABWC: to provide our nation’s businesses with a platform to advocate for infrastructure that underpins the entire economy.”

Founding members of ABWC include Jacobs, Louisville MSD (member of the advisory council), Seattle Public Utilities (member of the advisory council), and Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (member of the advisory council).

“Louisville MSD is a key provider of three services in one utility – wastewater collection and treatment, stormwater management, and flood protection,” said Tony Parrott, CEO of Louisville MSD. “Without these services people cannot live, work, or play in our community. From a business perspective, economic growth and vitality cannot be achieved sustainably without what we do. Louisville MSD is excited to participate in the American Business Water Coalition as a way to bring more voices of advocacy to a dialogue on water infrastructure needs and legislative support.”

Current and future ABWC members will have opportunities to help secure long-term water infrastructure funding, which, once achieved, would create 800,000 new jobs.

To learn more about the coalition’s offerings and objectives, please visit the website, found here.

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