Representing the National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) and the California Water Service Group before the United States (U.S.) House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Environment, Martin Kropelnicki, President of the NAWC and President and CEO of California Water Service Group presented his written testimony, titled “Drinking Water System Improvement Act and Related Issues of Funding, Management, and Compliance Assistance Under the Safe Drinking Water Act”, and examined ongoing efforts to improve the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.
“We are all working toward the same outcome – safe, reliable, and high-quality drinking water, which is critical to every person, community, and business in this country,” Kropelnicki commented.
According to WaterWorld, Kropelnicki also highlighted two vital areas that can help improve the drinking water systems across the U.S., all while making sure the federal budgets are utilised wisely, practically, and efficiently: The need the adopt and practice effective utility management practices and accountability for all water systems, whether public or private; as well as addressing the issue of drinking water systems are have consistently proven themselves not compliant with federal health and safety standards.
“Unfortunately, aging and deteriorating water systems threaten economic vitality and public health, and communities nationwide are faced with massive fiscal challenges to replace critical water and wastewater infrastructure and effectively manage their systems,” Kropelnicki explained. “After all, water systems are one of the most expensive assets for a community to maintain, and mane municipally-owned utilities simply cannot afford to properly maintain, let alone improve and modernise, their infrastructure.”
The NAWC has estimated that its six largest members alone are behind an approximate US$2.7 billion investment in water systems a years, though they only service around a scant six per cent of the population in the U.S. Meanwhile, the current total budget for the federal appropriation under the Clean Water and Drinking Water Revolving Fund (SRF) programmes are about US$2 billion per year.
Kropelnicki also observed that the current water infrastructure crises in the U.S. has been in the making for a number of decades, though even now, it would take a further few decades to right it. “Today’s dwindling resources and increasing demand for safe, reliable, and high-quality water require a fundamentally different approach than what we have taken over the last several decades,” he finished.
Source: National Association of Water Companies, WaterWorld