As I’ve lamented before, blogging doesn’t pay the bills. My work as an engineer and environmental consultant does. I’m not strictly a disinterested party when it comes to encouraging investment in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
I think we can look at the response to the Recovery Act (ARRA) to see how ready we are to make this kind of investment. The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds received additional appropriations as part of ARRA. They were tasked to commit the money in very short order and they did. There aren’t a ton of “shovel ready” water projects because of the way they are planned and funded, but there is a great backlog of need.
In addition, interest rates for federal borrowing are very low. I’m not a fan of huge government debt, when their borrowing to make ends meet. It’s not something I recommend on an individual level, either. However, when borrowing is done for the purpose of long-term investment an expected return of value, it makes sense. Investing in water infrastructure will pay back in jobs, health, reliability, and in the simple loan repayments as local governments, and possibly even private utilities, pay back into the programs that provided the financing.
Related posts and articles