Mayor Rybak Endorses New Report Calling for Major Public Investment in Water Systems
Federal commitment to water systems has risen under President Obama; more investment will create good jobs and spur economic growth
March 1, 2012 (MINNEAPOLIS) — Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today endorsed a new report, “Public Water Works!”. that finds broad support across party lines for the critical need to invest in the nation’s public water systems. Public water directors, faith and advocacy organizations and more than 30 mayors including Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, called on the Obama Administration and Congressional leadership to act on the report’s findings and recommendations. U.S. public water systems currently face a $23 billion per year investment gap.
“It’s time Congress placed the same value on the tap that the American people do,” said Mayor Rybak. “Just as communities and businesses reap the benefits of public investments in a strong public education system, everyone benefits from investments in public water systems. We can’t do business or guarantee the health of our workforce without clean drinking water and sanitation. Rebuilding our public water systems will create good, much-needed jobs and will put in place the long-term infrastructure that families and businesses both need to thrive.”
“Public Water Works!,” released on World Water Day, highlights that closing the investment gap would generate $265.6 billion in economic activity and create close to 1.9 million jobs over the next five years. Reinvestment could also spare businesses $734 billion in costs and sales lost due to unreliable water infrastructure.
The report also documents how, over the last 35 years, the federal commitment to public water systems has gone from covering 78 percent of clean water spending to a paltry three percent today. While under the Obama administration, federal water appropriations in fiscal year 2010 reached a 16-year high of $1.4 billion, this amount represents less than one-tenth of what is needed to close the annual water-infrastructure investment gap.
“I applaud the Obama administration’s demonstrated commitment to greater investment in public water systems,” Mayor Rybak continued. “It only makes sense for jobs and our economy to invest even more.”
City of Minneapolis tap water is consistently ranked among the highest-quality and best-tasting water in the United States. Under Mayor Rybak’s leadership, the City began Tap Minneapolis to make people and businesses aware of the benefits of Minneapolis tap water so that they can make better decisions when choosing between bottled and tap water. In 2011, the City provided portable Tap Minneapolis drinking fountains to a dozen large public events, two of which brought more than 100,000 participants. Tap Minneapolis also partners with restaurants that proudly serve Minneapolis tap water.
Published Mar. 22, 2012