March 2017 It’s been almost three years since the beginning of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan — and residents still don’t have safe drinking water.
In countless more communities across the country, water rates are skyrocketing and families have to make unbelievable decisions about whether to pay for water or other necessities.
Today, a plan that would provide real relief for these families was introduced in Congress.
Tell your Congressperson to support the WATER Act to fix our water pipes now.
Trump talked about improving infrastructure during his campaign, but his scheme would give massive tax breaks to Wall Street firms to privatize and take over public water infrastructure.¹
Privatizing water leads to higher rates and worse service.² Privatization will not help Flint or other communities address their water problems. Private investors would cherry-pick service areas to avoid cash-strapped neighborhoods where households can’t afford to pay the cost of privatized service.
Already, 12% of households can’t afford exorbitant water bills.³ Unless we do something to fix this problem, it’s likely to get worse: by 2019, nearly 36% of U.S. households could be unable to afford their water service! And these rising water costs and loss of service hit low-income and rural communities hardest.
Our plan — the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act — would provide real help for communities. Urge your Congressperson to support the WATER Act and restore investment in our public water and wastewater systems!
It is no coincidence that today is World Water Day, a day dedicated to working for access to safe water for all. Here in the United States, since the 1970s, the federal government has drastically cut our investment in our water infrastructure.
The WATER Act will help:
- Rural communities — by aiding rural and indigenous communities with grants to help improve their water systems, household water wells and septic tanks.
- Get the lead out — by working with homeowners to remove lead service pipes on their property and improving a program that helps schools test for lead and replace lead fixtures.
- Make water affordable for all — by closing a tax loophole, the WATER Act would provide $35 billion annually to ensure water rates are affordable, and it would require the EPA to develop a plan to make water bills affordable. Take action for investment in our water systems.
This is truly a national crisis. It is absolutely unconscionable that people across the country cannot drink the water coming from their taps. It is ludicrous that water rates are increasing so rapidly that families are making devastating decisions about whether they can pay for water in their homes. Take action with our sister organization Food & Water Action Fund to invest in our systems to make them work for our communities.
Please take a moment to urge your Congressperson to co-sponsor the WATER Act.