With cargo as precious as water, its delivery becomes extremely important. With that in mind, we join in this week's celebration of Infrastructure Week (May 13-20). This year's message is: America's future will be shaped by the infrastructure choices we make today. So let's #BuildForTomorrow.
And building for tomorrow sounds like a great idea! AWWA's "Buried No Longer" report shows it will cost $1 trillion over the next 25 years to repair and replace aging water infrastructure throughout the country.
However, we're on the right track toward addressing those needs. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced that the current round of available Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) funding is for $6 billion dollars in credit assistance. WIFIA lowers the cost of large water infrastructure projects by providing long-term, low-interest loans to communities.
Additionally, on April 30, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and United States Senator (N.Y.) Chuck Schumer emerged from a meeting with President Donald Trump touting an agreement for $2 trillion to be used toward all infrastructure (not only water infrastructure) projects.
There are also initiatives launching to help underserved communities. Community Engineering Corps (CECorps), which is an alliance formed between AWWA, Engineers Without Borders USA and the American Society of Civil Engineers, announced its "What's in My Backyard" (WIMBY) program on May 13 , which is funded through a United Engineering Foundation grant. WIMBY aims to connect volunteer engineers with infrastructure projects in underserved communities throughout the United States.
Sounds like a solid foundation upon which we can build for tomorrow.