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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Infrastructure takes care of people, but it doesn’t take care of itself.

You might think that America would excel at caring for the life-support systems of our economy and public health. But . . .  not so much. Especially when it comes to water, as can be found in
this US EPA report.

If you don’t want to read the report in its immense entirety, American Rivers sums the study up by noting that “the nation must invest $390 billion over a 20 year period to update or replace existing wastewater systems or risk having water quality regress to mid-1970s pollution levels.” And that's just the wastewater side of the equation. Drinking water has many more billions needed.

One solution is a bill currently in the US Senate. S936: The American Infrastructure Investment Fund Act of 2011 is described as a “bill to establish the American Infrastructure Investment Fund and other activities to facilitate investments in infrastructure projects that significantly enhance the economic competitiveness of the United States by improving economic output, productivity, or competitive commercial advantage, and for other purposes.”

The bottom line is this: the bill will help states and local communities begin to repair, rebuild and restore the reservoirs, pumps, pipes, treatment plants, distribution systems, sewers and wastewater treatment facilities. All this is what keeps us supplied with fresh, clean water, and keeps our polluted water safely in systems that purify it before being discharged back to nature.

You can follow the fate of the bill at And you can encourage your Senator, and hopefully your Representative, to support it.

After all, clean water is a basic necessity of civilization. Human dignity demands it and the health of all people depends on it.

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