Blog Post Round-Up: Infrastructure Week 2018

Written by: Elizabeth Harvell
Elizabeth Harvell is the Outreach Coordinator at the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Today marks the end of the sixth annual National Infrastructure Weeka week of events, media coverage, and issue advocacy across the country to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting America’s future. In the world of environmental finance, however, every week is infrastructure week, with growing capital needs to replace aging assets acting as a major challenge in the drinking water and wastewater industry, among others.

To help wrap up this important week, we’ve curated a list of water infrastructure-focused posts from not only our own blog, but from blogs around the web as well:

The “Time to Build” is Now

DrinkTap.org | May 16, 2018

“Infrastructure Week is going on right now (May 14-21) across the country, and this year’s message is: The future won’t wait. Neither can we. It’s #TimeToBuild.

This week’s focus in on infrastructure of all forms – roads, bridges, rail, airports, and, of course, our water and sewer systems.

Those systems are in dire need of repair. According to AWWA’s Buried No Longer report, it will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 20 years to repair and replace water systems; wastewater systems costs are thought to be similar.” Continue reading

Water infrastructure: Today’s funding for tomorrow’s needs

The Avenue Blog | April 18, 2018

“If life depends on water, then modern life depends on high quality water and sewer services to keep water-borne pandemics at bay. As the world’s population continues to grow and urbanize, advanced water treatment and sanitation will be ever more essential. We must get the water equation right if we have any hope of sustaining the world’s growing populations and urbanization.

But our water infrastructure doesn’t just need funding, it needs reinvention.” Continue reading

Environmental Infrastructure Programs under the Omnibus Budget Bill

EFC at UNC Environmental Finance Blog | April 2, 2018

“On Friday, March 23, President Trump signed a $1.3 trillion FY 2018 spending bill that will fund the federal government through September 30.   This budget funds several environmental infrastructure programs that help communities pay for crucial services such as water and wastewater.  How did those infrastructure programs fare in the budget?” Continue reading

Four Federal Water Infrastructure Funding Programs to Watch

EFC at UNC Environmental Finance Blog | 

A Return to Growing Capital Outlays on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure?

EFC at UNC Environmental Finance Blog | 

“The year 2010 marked the start of an unusual period in the water sector. For five years running, total capital outlays by local governments in the United States on water and wastewater infrastructure declined year after year. This period coincides with the Great Recession and towards the end of spending under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Yet infrastructure continued to age, and construction costs continued to rise at about 2.6 percent per year during that period. Have we finally come across a sign that capital expenditures on water and wastewater infrastructure may be growing again?” Continue reading

Imagine a Day Without Water (and water infrastructure)

DrinkTap.org | October 11, 2017

The Wall Street Journal recently published a story shining a light on the connection between aging water and wastewater systems and the loss of those services in hurricane-affected communities. The article, and many others like it, come as we observe Imagine a Day Without Water on Oct. 12. Imagine a Day Without Water provides a moment to recognize the value of the pipes and treatment plants that are so essential to our everyday lives.” Continue reading

Four Trends in Government Spending on Water and Wastewater Utilities Since 1956

EFC at UNC Environmental Finance Blog |September 9, 2015

“According to data collected and published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal, state and local governments in the United States spent more than $2.2 trillion in the last 59 years on operations, maintenance and capital infrastructure of water and wastewater utilities. That equates to more than $4,131,000,000,000 in 2014 dollars, adjusting for inflation of infrastructure-specific costs. Following our earlier blog post demonstrating that federal spending on water and wastewater utilities decreased since the 1980s, we analyzed the data and identified 4 more trends in how government spending on utilities changed between 1956 and 2014.” Continue reading

A Critical Moment to Harness Green Infrastructure—Not Concrete—to Secure Clean Water

The World Resources Institute Blog | 2013

“Medford, Oregon, is saving an estimated $12 million by investing in riparian forest restoration to shade streams instead of installing mechanical chillers to meet its Clean Water Act obligations related to stream temperature. Riparian forest also provides benefits for habitat, carbon sequestration, and water quality.” Continue reading

Note: Findings, interpretations, and conclusions of outside posts included in this report are not those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of EFC at UNC, the University, the School of Government, or those who provided review.

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