Spending on water infrastructure drives research and innovation leading to new technologies that can be used in the United States and around the world. America has fallen significantly behind many of the developed nations of the world on infrastructure –we now rank 25th. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 reveals that the U.S. infrastructure compares unfavorably with that of most advanced countries and even some developing nations. Adequate investment in our water infrastructure will foster research and development and help keep America competitive in the global market.
Safeguarding Public Health
Water infrastructure investment is critical to protect public health and our quality of life. A recent study in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology warned that the incidence of acute gastrointestinal illness will likely rise in coming years: "So far insufficient financial investments have been made to improve water infrastructure, and small systems are particularly at risk for lack of funds and personnel. As most of the national water distribution infrastructure is reaching the end of its design life in the coming decades, the frequency and health impacts of distribution system deficiencies will likely worsen." The American Society for Civil Engineers estimates that the increase in water-borne illnesses due to deficiencies in water systems and the projected investment gap will create a monetary burden of $413 million for 2011-2020.
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Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization of 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF members, Member Associations, and staff proudly work to achieve our mission to provide bold leadership, champion innovation, connect water professionals, and leverage knowledge to support clean and safe water worldwide.
If you have any questions or comments about the Water for Jobs campaign, please send an e-mail to WaterforJobs@wef.org.