(Washington, DC) – The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 has provided Georgia with an extraordinary opportunity to invest in clean water, public health, and improved water supplies, while creating good jobs. $24 million in dedicated funding for green infrastructure, water, and energy efficiency projects is now available in Georgia, and American Rivers called on state leaders today to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity.
"Our water infrastructure is antiquated and crumbling and can’t cope with our drinking water, wastewater, and flood protection needs, and global warming will make the situation worse,” said Otto. “The good news is, investing in green solutions to these water infrastructure problems now will create jobs, stretch our water supplies and save money, and protect public health and safety in Georgia.”
“Nature works best,” added Otto, “If Georgia does not embrace this unique and important opportunity to invest in 21st century solutions that benefit our communities, the money may be wasted on outdated and inefficient projects. We urge Georgia communities to submit available green infrastructure projects for funding so taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and Georgia’s communities can reap all of the clean water supply, public health, and quality of life benefits.”
Green infrastructure incorporates natural systems that can help supply clean water, reduce polluted runoff, reduce sewer overflows, minimize flooding and enhance community health and safety. It means restoring floodplains instead of building taller and taller levees. It means planting trees and installing green roofs, rather than enlarging sewers or building a costly new treatment plant. Water efficiency projects can retrofit buildings and homes with water-efficient plumbing instead of constructing an expensive water supply dam.
Green infrastructure solutions are cheaper and they provide multiple benefits, including lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. They also create jobs in many sectors that aren’t outsourced, including plumbing, landscaping, engineering, building, and design. Green solutions support green tech industries, including supply chains and the jobs connected with manufacturing of materials from low-flow toilets to roof membranes.
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.