Thursday, 16 October 2008« Halfway There - and That’s Not Bad | Main | New Blog... just around the corner »
This week marks the 36th anniversary of the enactment of the Clean Water Act. If you want to show your appreciation for the sanitation, health, and environmental benefits this excellent piece of legislation has brought you, About.com suggests Bone China as an appropriate 36th anniversary gift. Ok, maybe not - but what you can do is let your friends, relatives, and co-workers know how important the Clean Water Act is and that we can’t let its legacy fade.
The regulations provided by the Clean Water Act require treated outflows of wastewater into our nation’s lakes, rivers, and watersheds. While we all agree that’s a good thing, the nation has not been putting its money where its mouth is. Cleaning up all the stuff we flush and drain takes a lot of money and energy, but currently the federal government spends only about $900 million a year on wastewater when the EPA recently estimated the need at $400 billion to modernize our wastewater infrastructure. On ASCE’s most recent Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Wastewater earned only a D minus, among the lowest of the grades. We are definitely falling behind on keeping our water clean and healthy.
But like in any long marriage, sometimes all it takes is a little effort to reignite the spark. Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on all the benefits the Clean Water Act has brought us over the years and make the commitment to share them with future generations. We need large increases in funding at all levels of government for our wastewater infrastructure to combat the system’s decay from age and the demands of an increasing population. There’s no better time than today to start making those commitments. The next 36 years should be even better than the first!