Water Works: The Job Creation Potential of Repairing America’s Water Infrastructure

Our nation’s drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure is vital to the protection, treatment, and distribution of clean water resources.

July 1, 2020
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Yet age, strain from population growth, lack of investment, and emerging threats from climate change have increased the burden on the current water infrastructure system. The nation’s wastewater and drinking water infrastructure received grades of “D+” and “D” from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), respectively.

Good jobs can be created through the replacement and upgrade of pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks, and the installation of green infrastructure projects. Gray water systems, water reuse-recycling, hot-water circulating systems, and rainwater catchment systems help conserve water and the energy used to treat and transport it, and create jobs in the industries supplying these technologies. Investments in water recapture, reuse, and transport will save water and energy, improve water safety, reduce carbon dioxide emissions from pumping water, and create jobs to improve our nation’s water infrastructure.

BlueGreen Alliance research has found that by investing 105 billion dollars over ten years, we could improve our drinking and clean water systems to a “B” grade and create 654,000 job-years across the U.S. economy. With strong labor and procurement standards, among other policies, we can make sure that these jobs are good jobs.

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