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News
Release

For Immediate Release:
February 4, 2002

Contact: Michael Arceneaux
202-331-2820


Water Infrastructure Budget Falls Short, Says WIN

    Washington, DC - The Water Infrastructure Network today expressed serious concern about the Administration's fiscal year 2003 budget for drinking water and wastewater infrastructure funding. For the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the Administration proposed the same amount as last year - only $850 million. For the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, only $1.25 billion was proposed, which is $100 million less than fiscal year 2002. The drinking water SRF has yet to be budgeted at its authorized level of $1 billion per year, and funding for the clean water SRF has remained flat for several years.

    According to the Water Infrastructure Network (WIN) - consisting of nearly 40 organizations representing drinking water and wastewater agencies, local elected officials, labor, environmentalists and engineering and construction firms, the budget proposal falls far short of infrastructure needs. Hearings last year before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works documented a shortfall of up to $1 trillion in the needed level of investment for meeting federal requirements and the repair and replacement of aging infrastructure over the next twenty years.

    Local governments and utility ratepayers currently shoulder over 90 percent of all spending on drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. However, says WIN, they cannot fund all that is needed in the next five years without significant federal assistance.

    Replacing aging treatment plants and pipes and meeting federal requirements without federal assistance often requires diverting scarce funds from other important local priorities, such as police and fire protection. If the nation is committed to safe drinking water and clean lakes and rivers, there must be a significant financial commitment to assist local governments in meeting the costs of clean and safe water.

    WIN is asking Congress to commit $57 billion over the next five years for investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. This is half the amount of the spending shortfall documented by WIN over that period, and if fully funded, still leaves the federal share of drinking water and wastewater funding at less than 20 percent of total spending.

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To see the nearly 40 organization that make up WIN, go to www.win-water.org.


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