Statement from NACWA CEO Reminds Congress of the Critical Importance of Clean Water Services and Need for Financial Relief for the Sector as Revenue Losses Mount
Washington, DC – The stimulus package released Wednesday evening by Congress included significant funding for a variety of private industries, while financial relief for the clean water sector – a critical element in ensuring sanitation during this national health crisis – was not included.
Adam Krantz, NACWA’s Chief Executive Officer, issued the following statement:
“While Congress’s recently passed stimulus package will provide significant help to many families, organizations and businesses in desperate need in the wake of COVID-19, it failed to offer support to one of the most fundamental services that everyday citizens need now more than ever – clean water. The workers who ensure essential water services are environmental first responders and have been working 24/7 throughout this crisis. At a time when proper sanitation and the flow of clean water to every home, hospital, and essential industry is more critical than ever before, the decision to not include meaningful support for this sector is shameful.
“We are currently projecting a 20% loss of revenue to the public clean water sector, as utilities around the country have halted water shutoffs for nonpayment and have stepped up by restoring water service to delinquent accounts during this crisis to ensure the public health. This is in addition to significantly decreased revenues as commercial and industrial usage grinds to a halt in many cities and communities nationwide.
“While it is important to support our airlines and cruise industries, it strikes me that Congress should also be ensuring similar funding support through grants and loans to ensure needed maintenance and construction projects will proceed at the Nation’s water utilities. NACWA also calls on Congress to provide low-income clean water rate assistance for those most in need to help keep current on their bills, just as is being done in the areas of energy and food assistance. NACWA remains optimistic that provisions to bolster water sector utilities will be a core part of the next phase of stimulus package negotiations.
“Congress must recognize and support the water sector workforce’s sacrifice and contributions during this time of need by providing the financial relief this sector needs and requests.”