Thursday, September 13, 2012

Invest in Water Infrastructure: Put this Blogger to Work


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.

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3 comments:

  1. "We support public administration and local governments in driving profitable projects and working with our private partners." B2G

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  2. We agree Keenan! Thank you for this post. Our most vulnerable infrastructure asset (contrary to the soundbite of roads and bridges) is underground -out of sight, and so out of mind! Hence, we need to raise attention to counteract this neglect, especially by engaging the everyday users to pinpoint localized issues. Talking in the general of aggregate dollars needed will not motivate leaders until they know of items in their own backyards: main line breaks, sewer backups, water pipe leaks...

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  3. Thanks to those who commented on this post. It is important to fund infrastructure that can keep up with our needs. Infrastructure Watch will continue to cover this issue.

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