ity and public health.
However, in 2010, the CleanWater State Revolving Fund program, which goestoward wastewater infrastructure, received only $2.1billion
in federal funding
— enough to nance about18 percent of what is needed.
As a result, a gap of approximately $22 billion existseach year between what is available to maintain ourwater and sewer systems and what is needed. Thisfunding is necessary to maintain and improve ournation’s water quality. We need to act now to RenewAmerica’s Water and close this funding gap.
Protecting Our Beaches, Rivers andLakes
Aging water infrastructure does more than threatenour future access to reliable drinking water — it alsoharms the environment in our communities. Agingsewer pipes can burst and spill untreated waste intoour rivers, lakes and streams. This is a problem incommunities across the country. According to theEPA’s 2004 National Water Quality Inventory assess-ments, 44 percent of the river miles, 64 percent of thelake waters, and 30 percent of the bays and estuariesassessed were impaired and too polluted to supporttheir designated uses.
Sewage overows and stormwater runoff can alsocause waters to be unt for recreational use. The na-tion had more than 20,000 closures and advisoriesat ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches in 2008. Inaddition, analysis of beach monitoring data showedthat 7 percent of samples exceeded national healthstandards. In other words, the contamination couldmake beachgoers sick.
Furthermore, leaks in our aging pipes lose water, evenin parts of the country facing water shortages. Ac-cording to the U.S. Geological Survey, 1.7 trillion gal-lons of water are lost from distribution to consumertaps — equivalent to one out of every ve gallons of drinking water.
Increased investment in water and sewer systemswill better protect our rivers, lakes, bays and beach-es and reduce loss of treated drinking water throughleaky pipes.
Creating Quality Jobs and Investing inOur Future
Renewing America’s Water will not just provide uni-versal access to water and an improved environment— it will also create hundreds of thousands of quality jobs at a time when our communities need it most.The national unemployment rate continues to hoveraround 10 percent with over 15 million people out of work and millions more underemployed.
According to the National Utility Contractors Associa-tion, for every $1 billion spent on water infrastructure,nearly 27,000 jobs are created.
Fully addressing thenation’s annual water needs would generate 783,000