Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues [Updated May 5, 2005]   [open pdf - 166KB]

"A number of interest groups and coalitions have issued reports on infrastructure funding needs and related policy issues, as have EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). They present a range of estimates and scenarios of future investment costs and gaps between current spending and future costs. EPA and CBO, in particular, caution that projections of future costs are highly uncertain, and that funding gaps are not inevitable. […]. Congressional interest in these issues has grown for some time and continues in the 109th Congress, partly in response to urgings of stakeholder groups. In both the 107th and 108th Congresses, House and Senate committees acted on comprehensive legislation to reauthorize and modify infrastructure financing programs in the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act, but no bills were enacted. The Bush Administration has addressed water infrastructure in a number of general ways, but has not offered legislative proposals of its own. EPA's principal initiative has been to support strategies intended to ensure that infrastructure investment needs are met in an efficient, timely, and equitable manner. This report identifies a number of issues that have received attention in connection with water infrastructure investment. It begins with a review of federal involvement, describes the debate about needs, and then examines key issues, including what is the nature of the problems to be solved; who will pay, and what is the federal role; and questions about mechanisms for delivering federal support, including state-by-state allotment of federal funds."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31116
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