Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy

New report by EPA raises the awareness of water’s importance to our national economic welfare.

Watch Now! National Water Infrastructure Summit

Hosted by the Water for Jobs Campaign partners, the Summit featured prominent speakers and experts discussing the current state of the nation’s infrastructure while highlighting the indisputable link between water infrastructure investment and the economy.

Investing in America

Water infrastructure investment creates and preserves jobs: An investment of $188.4 billion would generate $265.6 billion in economic activity and create close to 1.9 million jobs.

Supporting Existing Jobs

By making the needed investments we can save hundreds of thousands of jobs and help save American families and businesses billions of dollars.

Mind the Gap

The cost of repairing and expanding U.S. drinking water infrastructure alone will top $1 trillion in the next 25 years. Unless spending increases, the investment gap for both drinking and wastewater infrastructure will grow to at least $84 billion by 2020 based on conservative estimates.

Creating Jobs

Investment in water infrastructure means jobs for Americans. Adequate investment in water infrastructure ensures safe and reliable water and wastewater systems to attract and retain industry, business, and qualified workers, which are essential to economic vitality and growth. As the gap between needs and investment grows, the impacts on jobs, lost business sales and GDP worsens. Unless the investment gap is addressed by 2040, 1.4 million jobs could be at risk. Postponing needed infrastructure investment raises the overall cost and increases the likelihood of water main breaks and other infrastructure failures.

Driving Innovation

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.