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WASHINGTON (October 21, 2020) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners reminds the nation, particularly our federal officials, of the need to prioritize investment in water infrastructure and resources. This year, as NARUC observes Imagine a Day Without Water, Congress is urged to create a Low-Income Water Assistance Program for utility customers.
The annual Imagine a Day Without Water awareness campaign is supported by NARUC and drinking water and wastewater providers and associations, elected officials, community leaders, business and labor groups, policy experts and advocacy organizations. The Value of Water Coalition developed the campaign to educate the public on the U.S. water infrastructure crisis, which disrupts daily lives, threatens jobs and businesses and puts communities’ health and prosperity at risk.
NARUC passed two water-related resolutions at the 2020 Summer Policy Summit in July, one of which focused on rate relief associated with COVID-19. In today’s letters to Congress, NARUC notes the need to create a low-income water program similar to the Low-Income Heating Energy Assistance Program that helps customers pay their gas and electric bills.
“Every community, every person and every business relies on water—it’s essential to our survival,” said NARUC President Brandon Presley of Mississippi. “More than one-fifth of our nation’s economic output depends on water. The pandemic drove home the need to always have clean water available. Also, if we close the water infrastructure investment gap, we could realize more than $220 billion in economic activity. It’s our hope that Congress will establish a low-income water assistance program.”
“We're thrilled that NARUC is a part of Imagine a Day Without Water. This national day of action educates our neighbors and public officials about the essential role water plays in all of our lives,” said Radhika Fox, CEO of the US Water Alliance and Director of the Value of Water Campaign. “This year showed us the critical importance of water service to safeguard public health and the economy. But the infrastructure and service it takes to bring water to our homes and businesses and take it away is not free and can’t be taken for granted. We all need to educate ourselves about where our water comes from and the investment these critical systems need.”
NARUC’s letters to Congress are available at http://bit.ly/IADWWLetters. Follow NARUC’s social media engagement using the hashtag #ValueWater and visit http://imagineadaywithoutwater.org for more information on the value of water and to learn how to participate in the campaign.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC's member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of State public utility commissions before the three branches of the Federal government.