Want to create 1.9 million American jobs and add $265 billion to the economy? Upgrade our water infrastructure. That’s the message of Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, a report by Green For All, in partnership with American Rivers, Pacific Institute, and the Economic Policy Institute.
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The report looks at an investment of $188.4 billion in water infrastructure—the amount the EPA indicates would be required to manage stormwater and preserve water quality. That investment would inject a quarter of a trillion dollars into the economy, create nearly 1.3 million direct and indirect jobs and result in 568,000 additional jobs from increased spending.
Further, the report notes that this is the best moment to make the investment. With the recession creating a shortfall of 11.1 million jobs that would be needed to keep pace with the population and 9.1% unemployment, the jobs are critically needed. Moreover, the cost of financing these much-needed upgrades are at historic lows, and the still-struggling economy means much cheaper construction costs.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
1. Call your representatives and ask them to support federal investment in water infrastructure so our communities can comply with the Clean Water Act and provide healthy clean water to our communities.
2. Take action in your home or community to support the Clean Water Act and make sure you and your neighbors have access to clean healthy water:
a. Plant a rain garden in your backyard or on a plot of land or park in your community.
b. Install a rain barrel at your house. Encourage local businesses and municipal buildings to do the same.
c. Organize a community workshop or house party on water issues. Check out Green For All’s water toolkit with materials and a facilitation guide.