Report Says Upgrading Storm and Wastewater Systems Could Reduce Pollution and Add 1.9 million Jobs
October 18, 2011
According to a new report, an investment of $188.4 billion in upgrading America's storm and wastewater systems would generate $265.6 billion in economic activity and create close to 1.9 million jobs.
The report was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and produced by Green For All in partnership with American Rivers, the Economic Policy Institute and the Pacific Institute. It says that sewage overflows send 860 billion gallons of untreated sewage into our water systems every year, "enough to fill 1.3 million Olympic size swimming pools or cover the entire state of Pennsylvania with waste one-inch deep."
The report says investment in the infrastructure to handle storm water and wastewater has fallen by one-third since its 1975 peak. It projects job creation estimates for each of the 50 states and the job opportunities that would likely result from its proposed new infrastructure investments.
The authors conclude that now is "the best time in a generation to tackle our water infrastructure." They write that water infrastructure investments now would create jobs at a time when they are most needed. They point out that the cost of financing the capital investment is at historic lows and that the current economic climate would likely result in reduced costs for infrastructure projects.
Water Works: Rebuilding Infrastructure, Creating Jobs, Greening the Environment, is available on the organization¬ís website. You can view an executive summary or download the full 62 page report (PDF).