Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) called improving our nation’s water infrastructure “a national opportunity to protect human health and create jobs nationwide.” Senator Cardin, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water and Wildlife, convened a hearing Tuesday to gain a national perspective on water and wastewater infrastructure challenges and opportunities, including approaches to financing infrastructure improvements and the potential for investments to lead to economic growth and job creation.
“We as Americans take for granted the ability to turn on the tap and have access to clean, safe water. But America suffers from hundreds of water main breaks a day, mainly due to the problems associated with a water infrastructure system put in place decades ago that demands upgrades and repairs. The increasing dysfunction of our aging water infrastructure system poses risks to human health and safety and environmental quality. Especially in today’s economy, the projected economic benefits of water infrastructure investment and the job opportunities associated with repairing and upgrading our water infrastructure are substantial.
“Our nation’s water infrastructure is reaching a tipping point. Each day, significant losses and damages from broken water and sewer mains, sewage overflows, and other symptoms of water infrastructure tell us how close so many of our water systems are to reaching the end of their useful life cycle. The U.S. Geological Survey estimated that leaky pipes lose 1.7 trillion gallons of treated water each year. The path we are on is unsustainable. Repairing and upgrading our water infrastructure is an urgent necessity for Maryland and our entire country.”