Not a Drop to Drink?

Apr 14, 2011

Are water main breaks the new Old Faithful?

They might be if we don’t take action on our water infrastructure soon. Badly outdated and increasingly showing its weaknesses, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our nation’s drinking water system a D-minus in its 2009 Report Card of America's Infrastructure.

We can’t afford to wait. The supply and distribution of water have implications for our environment, national security, and economy. Even more, the cost of repairing water infrastructure swells with each passing day.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that up to $1 trillion must be invested nationwide to modernize and secure drinking water and wastewater systems over the next two decades.

Business is stepping up to the plate.  Intel’s Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Arizona recycles and reclaims up to 75% of its water for re-use.  The company also funded and spearheaded an advanced reverse osmosis water treatment facility in partnership with the City of Chandler. Through implementation of this strategy, Intel and Chandler have returned billions of gallons of drinking quality water for reuse since the project’s start.

The Intel project shows the kind of innovation it will take to achieve water solutions for the long-term. But we can’t rely purely on the innovation of the private sector.

The Chamber is working to raise awareness and effect change across a broad range of audiences through a series of initiatives:

  • Water Issues Working Group: Through wide-ranging dialogues in local communities, our Water Issues Working Group will discuss regional needs and explore a full spectrum of governmental and private sector policy and funding solutions.
  • Invest in Water Series: The Invest in Water series, formed by the Water Issues Working Group, is designed to raise awareness through targeted regional events across the country to discuss the full range of water issues, from supply and reuse to water technology to drinking and wastewater infrastructure.
  • Education and Outreach: We are working to educate Chamber members and policymakers about the tremendous local, national, and global economic implications of water policy and promote the use of sound science in setting policy.

Learn more about the Chamber’s energy and environment agenda.

 

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