President Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Aims to Bring Safe Drinking Water to All Americans

There are an average of 240,000 water main breaks in the United States each year, sparking widespread boil water advisories that affect millions of Americans.

When water mains experience a leak or break, the loss of water pressure—even if just for a few hours—can allow bacteria or other contaminants to seep into the water supply. More often than not, these breaks take only a couple of days to repair, but there are many instances where citizens are left without a clean water source for weeks or even months.

In a recent article published by The Hill, former policy analysis associate director for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said, “Our public health suffers when infrastructure fails us,” citing that lack of adequate wastewater treatment causes serious gastrointestinal problems from pathogens in contaminated drinking water.

So what is the federal government doing to solve America’s water woes? President Biden has a plan to supplement an existing grant program with additional funds to set our water infrastructure on the right path.

Established in 2014, the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), is a federal credit program administered by the EPA distributing grants for eligible water and wastewater infrastructure projects. Since its inception, WIFIA has finalized 43 grants, totaling $7.9 billion in project financing—improving water infrastructure in communities serving a total of 27 million Americans.

President Biden’s “Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and An Equitable Clean Energy Future” highlights the importance of bringing clean water to all Americans:

“Ensuring clean, safe drinking water is a right in all communities – rural to urban, rich and poor – investing in the repair of water pipelines and sewer systems, replacement of lead service pipes, upgrade of treatment plants, and integration of efficiency and water quality monitoring technologies.”

Despite the efforts of state and federal government agencies, Americans continue to bear the brunt of the United States’ crumbling infrastructure. It won’t be an easy fix, and will cost billions, but we have to start somewhere.