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Resource Type: Report    Topic: Lead in Drinking Water

Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states: Laws in states with the most lead service lines support the practice

In Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states, Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School and Environmental Defense Fund reviewed state laws and policies in 13 states with the most lead service lines (LSLs), and found no explicit barriers to using rate funds to replace the lines on private property. These states have an estimated 4.2 million LSLs, more than two-thirds of the nation’s total. In these states, publicly-owned utilities can act pursuant to existing state legislation by determining that the practice serves a public purpose—protecting public health. Investor-owned utilities can do the same, but typically need approval of the state’s utility commission. While we have not reviewed the remaining states, we anticipate that the state laws and policies are similar to the ones we evaluated.

Rates could fund lead pipe replacement in critical states: Laws in states with the most lead service lines support the practice

Resource Type: Best Practice Guide    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

State Policymakers’ Toolkit

To spotlight the important role that state governments can play in advancing sustainable water management, US Water Alliance and the Council of State Governments developed this State Policymaker’s Toolkit as a resource for elected officials and staff in the executive and legislative branches of state government. For each of the Seven Big Ideas (below), they briefly summarize the key issues and then provide real world examples of how states are forging progress. The promising examples are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather serve as a starting place for the generation of potential solutions that are specific to individual state contexts. For research purposes, these examples include endnote citations back to the legislative or regulatory language that was passed and/or implemented.

Seven Big Ideas:

  1. Advance regional collaboration on water management
  2. Accelerate agriculture-utility partnerships to improve water quality
  3. Sustain adequate funding for water infrastructure
  4. Blend public and private expertise and investment to address water infrastructure needs
  5. Redefine affordability for the 21st century
  6. Reduce lead risks, and embrace the mission of protecting public health
  7. Accelerate technology adoption to build efficiency and improve water service

Resource Type:    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

Fact Sheet for Press Kits: New Jersey Water Infrastructure

To support media coverage of New Jersey’s water infrastructure issues, this fact sheet for press kits offers background information on water infrastructure in the state. It is a product of the Jersey Water Works Education and Outreach Committee whose goal is to promote well-informed decision makers, community partners, residents and ratepayers and their active participation and influence in the planning and management of their water infrastructure.

Fact Sheet for Press Kits: New Jersey Water Infrastructure

Resource Type: Fact Sheet    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

Results from 2019 Value of Water Index: American Support for Investments in Water Infrastructure

Results from 2019 Value of Water Index: American Support for Investments in Water Infrastructure shows massive bipartisan support for investing in water infrastructure. One-pager with results here.

Over the past four years, the Value of Water Campaign has polled American voters to better understand their opinions about the state of our nation’s water infrastructure and what they view as priorities for action and potential solutions. The fourth annual national poll of over 1,000 American voters, was conducted by the bipartisan research team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates (D) and New Bridge Strategy (R).

Key poll findings include:
  • Americans support rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure more than any other issue facing the current administration, including building a border wall, repealing or replacing Obamacare, providing permanent status for Dreamers, or increasing military defense spending. Over three-fourths of voters (79 percent) say rebuilding America’s infrastructure is extremely or very important.
  • More than two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) support investment in water infrastructure at the national, state, and local levels — even when told that investment carries a $1.2 trillion price tag. Also, two-thirds of voters support a proactive program of water infrastructure upgrades, rather than fixing problems as they arise (67 percent).
  • Four in five (80 percent) American voters say what they pay for water service is affordable, and more than three in five voters would be willing to pay a modest increase in local water rates to fund improved service.
  • No other issue has nearly as much broad and bipartisan support. Support for investing in water infrastructure cuts across age, gender, party, geography, and ideology. More than three in four Democrats and Republicans agree rebuilding America’s infrastructure should be a top priority for the President and Congress this year.
  • Water quality concerns emphasizes need for investment and innovation. Seventy-four percent of Americans — living in both urban and rural areas — are concerned about contaminants affecting their water quality. More than five in eight Americans support local water agencies increasing the use of potable recycled water in their community.

Resource Type: Fact Sheet    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

Fact Sheet: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

This fact sheet, Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS), provides an introduction to PFAS chemicals, their uses, potential risks, major sources in the environment, occurrence in New Jersey’s public water systems, regulatory developments, remediation information, and links to additional resources. It was published in March 2019.

To educate stakeholders on problems and solutions and to empower stakeholders in the planning and management of their water infrastructure, Louis Berger, a member of Jersey Water Works, has developed this fact sheet on per- and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS), contaminants of emerging concern. The Jersey Water Works Education and Outreach committee and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) also played important roles in the development of this resource.

Fact Sheet: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS)

Resource Type: Report    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

To P3 or not to P3: A water industry view on the relevance of public-private partnership delivery models

This report, To P3 or not to P3: A water industry view on the relevance of public-private partnership delivery models, details how P3s benefit municipal utilities who don’t have the experience, capacity or confidence to deliver and maintain these assets using their existing staff and resources.

Public-private partnerships (P3), while no means a panacea for infrastructure delivery, offer distinct advantages to municipal water utilities in a range of circumstances. To date, P3s have been relatively limited in water, but the rationale for this is not always clear when it could be appropriately deployed to the public benefit.

To understand this better, EY and American Water Works Association conducted a survey to gain insight into the perceptions of those directly involved in water service provision across the US. Using the results of this survey, supplemented by our own experience of advising clients in the US water sector and commentary from key industry stakeholders, this report seeks to answer three key questions:

  1. What are the main drivers of interest in P3 as a delivery model?
  2. What are the key barriers to successfully pursuing P3 in water and how can these be overcome?
  3. Where is P3 likely to be most appropriately deployed in the US water sector going forward?

To P3 or not to P3: A water industry view on the relevance of public-private partnership delivery models

Resource Type: Fact Sheet    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

Basic Water Utility Management: A Guide for Local Leaders

This brief, Basic Water Utility Management: A Guide for Local Leaders, presents tools to help mayors understand their water systems and utilities better.

Cities are better off with strong water systems, but these take time, investment, and political will to build and maintain. Many cities are facing aging infrastructure, water quality challenges, combined sewer overflows, and more. These things impact the quality of life of everyone within the city. It is important for mayors to understand the different ways water intersect with their city. Part of a mayor’s job is to understand vital operations of a city—at least in overview. Water utilities and infrastructure are a part of that.

Basic Water Utility Management: A Guide for Local Leaders

Resource Type: Best Practice Guide    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders

Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders

This brief, Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders, focuses on the most sustainable, equitable toolkit to finance and operate publicly-owned water utilities, for which elected city or utility leaders can advocate.

Water infrastructure systems are complex, but elected and staff leaders in cities are well poised to advance more sustainable funding arrangements while addressing the affordability of the water bill for their lowest-income residents. This brief does not weigh in with recommendations for state or federal governments, though they are critical to how public utilities can be financed and operated. It also does not address financing for privately owned or operated utilities.

Paying for Water Systems: A Guide for Local Leaders

Resource Type: Report    Topic: Empowered Stakeholders | Lead in Drinking Water

Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School

This report, Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School, by the Environment America and U.S. PIRG Education Fund provides recommendations for states and communities to address the problem of lead in drinking water in schools across the nation.

Get the Lead Out: Ensuring Safe Drinking Water for Our Children at School

Resource Type: Report    Topic: Other Best Practices

State of Water Preparedness: A 2018 Scan of Water Preparedness and Response Infrastructure in State and Territorial Health Agencies

In spring 2018, ASTHO surveyed state and territorial directors of public health preparedness and environmental health to learn more about their protocols, tools, resources, infrastructure, and gaps related to drinking water emergency preparedness and response. Survey questions focused on how state and territorial health agencies organize their water preparedness activities and what processes they have in place to prepare for and respond to water emergencies.

State of Water Preparedness: A 2018 Scan of Water Preparedness and Response Infrastructure in State and Territorial Health Agencies

 

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