WEF, APWA talk water and wastewater infrastructure funding with Congress

Jun 22, 2006

Humans, who can last a month without food, die after a week without water. And while we rely on water to sustain life, many are not aware of the vast network of reservoirs, plants and pipes required to treat, distribute, collect and clean water. Much of the nation's water infrastructure, built nearly a century ago for a smaller population, is aging and overburdened.

On Monday the 22nd, as part of a series of activities celebrating National Public Works Week (May 21-27), the American Public Works Association (APWA) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) teamed up to brief Congressional staff members about a new educational and outreach program, Water Is Life, and Infrastructure Makes It HappenTM, dedicated to helping communities envision, build, maintain and improve life-sustaining water and wastewater systems.

"Communities across the nation facing needed repairs and upgrades to infrastructure will benefit from the messages contained in the Water is Life, and Infrastructure Makes It HappenTM program," said Peter King, APWA executive director.

The utility-driven, grassroots program is spearheaded by a growing partnership of water and wastewater organizations, and business, environmental and public health professionals. The main objective of the program is to inform the general public, rate payers, opinion leaders and elected officials on the value of water and the importance of recognizing water and wastewater infrastructure as a valuable community resource.

"It is our hope that this program will increase the public's understanding of the costs associated with delivering water and wastewater services to their communities and prompt local action to meet current and future needs," said Linda Kelly, Managing Director of Public Communications for WEF.

During the briefing four public utility officials discussed their experience with the program:  Cora Jackson-Fossett, public affairs director, City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works; James E. Patterson, vice president, Columbus Water Works, Columbus, Ga.; Clayton Edwards, P.E., deputy director of environmental operations, City of Tulsa Public Works Department, Tulsa, Okla.; and John Warner, operations division manager, Pima County Water Management Department, Tucson, Ariz.

About WEF
Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 76 Member Associations in 30 countries.

Media Contact: 
Water Environment Federation
Lori Burkhammer
601 Wythe Street
Alexandria, VA 22314-1994
Phone: 001 (703) 684-2480

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