Statement of Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
Washington, D.C.— “The Senate has approved the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which includes funds for our nation’s water systems—unfortunately, it also contains several false solutions to our water woes.
“Congress must provide urgent assistance to households in Flint and long-term support for the lingering water crisis there. We urge the House of Representatives to pass a more robust version of the Flint Aid Package included in the Senate version of WRDA.
“The water crisis in Flint has focused a spotlight on the state of our nation’s water infrastructure and the need for a renewed federal commitment to ensuring safe and reliable water service.
“It also exposed the inherent flaws in WIFIA, which the Senate voted to turn into a permanent program. Because it requires communities to have a high bond rating, by law, WIFIA cannot help cash-strapped communities with the serious water needs like Flint. WIFIA is currently a pilot program that has yet to issue a loan, much less complete a required study of its efficacy. If made permanent, WIFIA will undermine and compete with the established, reliable State Revolving Fund programs, taking money away from cash-strapped community water systems to fund corporate water projects.
“Congress must strip out provisions in WRDA that would make WIFIA a permanent program. It should act now to support Flint and prioritize funding water infrastructure projects in other communities with public health, water quality and affordability challenges. Congress must immediately provide aid to Flint and pass the WATER Act to provide long-term funding for our nation’s water and sewer systems.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Kate Fried, Food & Water Watch, (202) 683-4905, firstname.lastname@example.org