Renew America’s Water
Why Colorado Needs Federal Investment in Public Water toProvide Safe Water for Generations to Come
The campaign to Renew America’s Water will create adedicated source of federal funding, which will improvewater quality, protect the environment, create good jobsand ensure safe, reliable water for generations to come.
Reliable Access to Safe Water IsThreatened
Colorado’s drinking water and sewer infrastructure needsdramatically outpace available funding. According to Colo-rado’s latest project eligibility list for the Drinking WaterState Revolving Fund (SRF) program, the state’s public watersystems need $1.9 billion to keep our water safe.
In 2010,the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund program, whichprovides low-interest loans and grants to maintain safedrinking water, received $24.1 million in federal funding —
enough to nance only 1 percent of what is needed.
Colorado’s publicly owned wastewater systems need $2.4billion to protect water quality and public health.
In2010, the state’s Water Pollution Control Revolving Fundprogram, which goes toward wastewater infrastructure,received $16.5 million in federal funding — enough to
nance less than 1 percent of what is needed.
As a result, even after state contributions, state revolvingfunds fall $4.3 billion short of what is needed to maintainColorado’s water and sewer systems, leaving local govern-
ments with much of the nancial burden. Additional fund
-ing is necessary to maintain and improve the state’s waterquality. We need to act now to Renew America’s Water andclose this funding gap.
olorado’s public water systems have provided reliable access to drinking waterand safe disposal of wastewater for decades, yet a crisis looms. When Congresspassed the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that ourwaterways were protected and our drinking water safe, they provided increasedfunding for community water systems to meet these more protective standards.However, since the 1980s, the federal government has been cutting back funding tocommunities for water infrastructure, with assistance falling to historic lows underthe Bush administration. At the same time, many of our nation’s water systems thatwere built in the early 20th century are reaching the end of their lifespan. Withoutdedicated federal funding, communities simply cannot afford to make the necessaryrepairs to pipes and water systems that keep our waters clean and safe. This lack of investment in communities’ water infrastructure poses a danger to the environmentand threatens the safety of our water for future generations.