81st Annual Meeting: June 21-24, 2013 in Las Vegas

SAFEGUARDING MUNICIPAL WATER SYSTEMS

           WHEREAS, there is a great need to reinvest in the country’s public water and wastewater systems, which currently face a $23 billion dollar annual investment gap; and

            WHEREAS, Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund annual federal funding has been reduced by 34 percent since FY 2011; and

            WHEREAS, even before these cuts, a 2005 US Conference of Mayors study found that local governments paid for 99 percent of  the nation’s drinking water infrastructure investments and 95 percent of the nation’s wastewater infrastructure investments; and

            WHEREAS, every day, leaky pipes account for the loss of seven billion gallons of clean drinking water nationwide, or 16 percent of total use; and

            WHEREAS, U.S. business will lose $734 billion between now and 2020 because of costs and sales lost due to unreliable water infrastructure; and

            WHEREAS, experts have termed the next 30 years the “replacement era” where a vast majority of water and wastewater pipes will reach their intended lifespan and need to be replaced in order to avoid the increased expenses of repair and replacement; and

            WHEREAS, adding one job in public water infrastructure and wastewater management creates 3.68 jobs in the national economy to support that job. Further, a dollar invested in public water in the long term generates more than six for the economy at large; and

            WHEREAS, jobs associated with water and wastewater infrastructure investment are green and span a wide variety of disciplines from engineering to accounting; and

            WHEREAS, seventy-three percent of people in the U.S. believe government investment in safe, public water systems is either extremely or very important; and

            WHEREAS, partnership between local, state, and federal governments is the fundamental way in which we can ensure people in this country have continued access to clean, safe, public water; and

            WHEREAS, our nation has shown a commitment to our public water and wastewater systems through passage of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act; and

            WHEREAS, the precipitous decline in federal water and wastewater infrastructure assistance over the past two decades means that local ratepayers have borne the brunt of the costs of meeting the goals of the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act; and

            WHEREAS, The U.S. Conference of Mayors has resolved to encourage cities to promote the importance of municipal water; and

            WHEREAS,  The U.S. Conference of Mayors released new research findings in May 2013 that confirm that local government investment in public water and wastewater infrastructure and services reached an all-time high in 2010, at $111.4 billion, compared to spending $7 billion in 1972 when the Clean Water Act was passed; and

            WHEREAS, we applaud the leadership of The U.S. Conference of Mayors for committing to infrastructure investment as a way to create jobs and profoundly stimulate the economy,

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, The US Conference of Mayors calls on the President and Members of Congress to create new and improved funding mechanisms for public water systems; and

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, The US Conference of Mayors encourages cities to assert water as a priority, to recognize that cities should first and foremost explore options to preserve choices for public ownership and consider all available tools to choose efficient and effective operations of water and wastewater systems including the value of public-private partnerships.


RESOLUTION ADOPTED JUNE 2013