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EPA’s New Clean Watersheds Needs Survey Demonstrates Growing Infrastructure Funding Gap, Need for Renewed Federal Investment


June 4, 2010

Contact: Adam Krantz
Managing Director, Government & Public Affairs
(202) 833-4651


EPA’s New Clean Watersheds Needs Survey Demonstrates Growing Infrastructure Funding Gap, Need for Renewed Federal Investment

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week released its Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (CWNS) report to Congress which documents a total need of $298.1 billion as of January 1, 2008, which further emphasizes the growing need for water infrastructure funding currently facing our nation.  The CWNS report is available approximately every four years and provides a complete analysis of wastewater and stormwater treatment and collection needs for the next 20 years.  The CWNS report includes the following investment needs: publicly owned wastewater pipes and treatment facilities ($192.2 billion); combined sewer overflow (CSO) correction ($63.6 billion); and stormwater management ($42.3 billion).  This funding shortfall represents a 17% increase since the 2004 CWNS report, noting that something must be done now to reverse this disturbing trend.

As exemplified by the 2008 CWNS report, the clean water community is increasingly facing financial capability and affordability challenges in the face of one of the most devastating economic downturns since the Great Depression.  “This needs report makes it clear that the federal government must become a long-term partner in developing a sustainable funding mechanism to address the growing infrastructure funding gap,” NACWA’s Executive Director Ken Kirk said.  Federal financial support is undoubtedly needed to help rebuild the nation’s aging wastewater and water infrastructure to ensure clean and safe water for the public.  NACWA will continue to work with Congress on a clean water trust fund to address the funding gap and to develop new approaches to assessing the very real issue of community affordability and financial capability limits in meeting Clean Water Act requirements.


NACWA represents the interests of nearly 300 of the nation’s publicly owned wastewater treatment works, serving the majority of the sewered population in the United States, collectively treating and reclaiming over 18 billion gallons of wastewater every day. For more information, please visit

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