For Immediate Release
In Wake of Flint Water Crisis, Federal Slashes to Community Water Funding are Unacceptable
Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
WASHINGTON - “The budget delivered to Congress by the Obama Administration Tuesday cuts funding to the State Revolving Funds for our water infrastructure by 11 percent. Following the Flint water crisis, which is emblematic of our national water woes, it is outrageous that the Obama Administration can’t be moved to truly step up and deliver the leadership needed to fully fund our water infrastructure. With the exception of the recovery stimulus, this administration has shown no interest in adequately investing in our water infrastructure.
“The proposed budget provides $1,020.5 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and $979.5 million for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The combined $2 billion funding request is a $257 million decrease over what Congress appropriated for 2016.
“While federal funding has fallen, the United States has faced a water infrastructure crisis. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives both drinking water and clean water infrastructure a grade of D in its ‘Report Card for America’s Drinking Water.’
“This budget cuts the traditional funding sources that prioritize the most needy community water projects. Whether it’s kids poisoned by lead in Flint and other towns, water service shutoffs in Baltimore and Detroit or water contaminated by factory farms in Ohio and Iowa, we face a growing water crisis that requires real, long term solutions that keep water clean, affordable and democratically controlled. We need a fund for water infrastructure with a dedicated funding source to ensure that communities receive the money they need to protect the health of their residents. We’ll be urgently working to introduce a bill to that effect in the coming weeks.”
Food & Water Watch is a nonprofit consumer organization that works to ensure clean water and safe food. We challenge the corporate control and abuse of our food and water resources by empowering people to take action and by transforming the public consciousness about what we eat and drink.