By Vanessa M. Leiby, WWEMA Executive Director
The Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA) recently joined with other national water associations to develop a joint paper titled Sustainable Solutions for America’s Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: Urgent Funding and Policy Considerations. The document is the culmination of efforts over the last several months to bring the water sector together to speak as one voice on identifying funding and policy priorities, including some new and innovative approaches, that can advance sustainable solutions for the current COVID-19 crisis, as well as address America’s infrastructure needs for tomorrow. The paper — a call to action on both immediate needs for relief and other policy reforms — reflects the consensus of these groups and their leaders regarding the top priorities that Congress should consider as it shapes the next COVID-19 stimulus or water infrastructure bill. Approved by all the major water associations, this represents a major step forward in our sector articulating our collective needs to Congress, this Administration, and the Presidential election campaigns.
The document represents water sector consensus on a number of critical topics including water and wastewater utility funding support, assistance to low income households, funding for COVID-19 wastewater monitoring, increased funding for the SRFs and WIFIA, investment in water recycling, funding AWIA technology grant programs, incentives to adopt water technologies by reducing risk, direct funding for adoption of smart water technologies, expanding access to water and financial resources to more communities, and incentives to reduce the number of failing small systems. A copy of the Policy Paper can be found HERE. The adoption of these measures will help ensure adequate access to water and wastewater service during the continuing COVID-19 crisis, strengthen our Nation’s economic platform, increase the health and safety of communities, make utilities more efficient and financially sound, make America more competitive, create thousands of jobs, increase wages for American workers, and reduce the high cost of water for Americans associated with aging infrastructure.
Vanessa M. Leiby is Executive Director of the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association (WWEMA). WWEMA is a non-profit trade association that has been working for water and wastewater technology and service providers since 1908. WWEMA’s members supply the most sophisticated leading-edge technologies and services, offering solutions to every water-related environmental problem and need facing today’s society. For more information about WWEMA go to www.wwema.org.