Washington, DC -- American Rivers today applauded Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) for introducing legislation that establishes a Water Trust Fund to invest in fixing the nation’s outdated drinking water and sewage treatment systems. The bipartisan legislation, the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act (H.R. 3202), establishes a $10 billion annual fund for repairing America's aging pipes and overburdened sewer systems, which pose serious threats to public health and the environment, and the security of the nation’s communities.
American Rivers is particularly supportive of the legislation’s emphasis on green infrastructure approaches that protect, restore and repair natural systems, and use water efficiently. These approaches have far-reaching benefits – they save money and energy, reduce stormwater runoff and sewage overflows, recharge drinking water supplies, create appealing natural areas for community enjoyment, and help communities prepare for climate change.
Communities are struggling to fill the Environmental Protection Agency-estimated $500 billion backlog of critical water infrastructure necessary to protect public health and the environment -- infrastructure that will be stressed further by climate change.
The president of American Rivers, Rebecca Wodder, made the following statement:
“We applaud Congressman Blumenauer for introducing this bill that is essential to protecting the health and safety of our communities. Congress should act swiftly to pass the bill and direct investment toward 21st century green infrastructure, water efficiency and other innovative approaches to protect clean water.”
“We can no longer afford to take clean water for granted. From sewage overflows to water main breaks, the state of our nation’s water infrastructure is reaching a crisis point.”
“Clean water is our nation’s most vital resource, but our water infrastructure is outdated, unable to cope with our drinking water, wastewater, and flood protection needs. The good news is, investments in green solutions to these water infrastructure problems will create jobs, save money, and protect public health and safety.”
“We are at a transformational moment. The same old 19th and 20th century approaches to water management simply aren’t fit for the challenges of this century. It is time to embrace a 21st century approach to water that integrates green solutions, recognizes changing climatic conditions, and helps ensure community safety and security. By supporting smart water infrastructure investments, the Trust Fund will help ensure a future of clean water for generations to come.”
American Rivers is the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. Rivers connect us to each other, nature, and future generations. Since 1973, American Rivers has fought to preserve these connections, helping protect and restore more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual release of America’s Most Endangered Rivers®.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, American Rivers has offices across the country and more than 100,000 supporters, members, and volunteers nationwide. Visit www.americanrivers.org, www.facebook.com/americanrivers and www.twitter.com/americanrivers.