The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jessica Roach or Erin Greenfield

Congress Must Act Now to Protect America's Water

Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter


While nearly invisible under our homes and streets, America's water
pipes and treatment plants keep our communities livable, our lifestyles
possible, and our industries viable. The recent tragedy in Minnesota
and pipe explosion in New York has drawn attention to the dangers of
neglecting our basic infrastructure. Today, we congratulate Congressman
Oberstar and Senators Lautenburg and Boxer for their leadership and
call on the Senate to ensure clean, affordable drinking water and safe,
swimmable waterways by providing critical funding for water across the
United States.

Nearly 35 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act, federal
funding for clean water has become an annual political battle. The
House measure authorizing $14 billion over four years for the Clean
Water State Revolving Fund, the primary federal funding source for
clean water projects, is a good first step that should be embraced and
expanded by the Senate. But, given the history of fickle year-to-year
funding and the urgency of our water infrastructure troubles, Congress
should create a clean water trust fund that would provide a steady,
reliable, and equitable source of funding for needed projects across
the country.

National priorities that transcend state and local boundaries should
receive perpetual funding streams, immune from shifting political
currents. Our country already has federal trust funds established for
our highways, harbors, and wildlife habitats. Clean water, an essential
public resource for all Americans, certainly warrants federal support
and deserves the same protection.

Congress should offer a solution that will keep politics out of
critical infrastructure financing. It's time for a trust fund that
protects our water and keeps it clean and safe.

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

(202) 683-2500