Former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden released a $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan. The 12-page plan includes three short bullet points for water infrastructure and proposes allocating only an estimated $6 billion or so as federal investment in water infrastructure, which is only $3 billion more than is currently appropriated for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water infrastructure programs and still insubstantial.
In response, Mary Grant, the Public Water for All Campaign Director at Food & Water Action, released the following statement:
“Former Vice President Joe Biden’s proposed plan to update our aging water systems is woefully inadequate and disappointing. It is not a bold or inspiring vision to provide safe water to every person in our country. In order to keep our water safe and clean, our aging water and sewer systems need more than $35 billion a year just to comply with existing federal standards.
“Right now, EPA water funding falls under $3 billion a year, and Biden’s proposal to double that amount would not even meet a fifth of the need that our systems have. He further touts expensive and false solutions through ‘private-sector innovation’ like desalination.
“People are suffering right now — from toxics in their water to failing water systems to increasingly expensive water bills. As many as one in three American households are struggling to pay their water bills today, and climate change and privatization are deepening this national water crisis.
“Our country needs a comprehensive solution through the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability Act (H.R. 1417, S. 611) to fully fund our water infrastructure, eliminate lead from our public schools, and help ensure that every American has safe, affordable water in their home.”