Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Brenda Lawrence and Rep. Ro Khanna introduced legislation to address access to clean, safe, and affordable drinking water in America. The Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2019 is a comprehensive solution that creates a WATER Trust Fund dedicating $35 billion for water infrastructure improvements across the United States. Senator Bernie Sanders will introduce a Senate companion to the legislation.
In response, Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter released the following statement:
“The alarming rise in water bills over the past decade is slated to get much worse. As more and more families struggle to pay for and access one of the most essential human rights, it will fall into the hands of our elected officials to dedicate sufficient funds to ensure water is affordable, safe and clean in the United States.
“No one should have to think twice about drinking their water or taking a shower, and the WATER Act is the comprehensive piece of legislation that will make sure our public water services are functional. The recent national attention on the presence of highly toxic and hazardous chemicals (PFAS, including PFOA and PFOS) in drinking water in many states only adds to the urgency of an effective federal solution. Such explicit pollution of American water, combined with the rising climate crisis and an anti-science White House, only makes this bill even more crucial.
“The WATER Act deftly outlines a path for upgrading and modernizing our public water systems. It addresses water contamination, affordability, and justice in one fell swoop. It promotes union labor and job creation while prioritizing disadvantaged communities, rural households, indigenous communities, and schools. When it comes to water, this is the progressive, just legislation America needs.”
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: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; [email protected]