Business Task Force on Water Policy

The Business Task Force on Water Policy catalyzes support for water infrastructure investments in the U.S. and elevates water in the national policy discussion. Business as usual and relying on government funding alone will not solve this fundamental challenge.

 

Water is among our most precious resources, one that is essential to health and human life. Businesses and communities depend on it to drive the American economy, and significant investments in water infrastructure are needed in the U.S. and around the world. While many organizations have worked over the years to advance water infrastructure investments, an integrated coalition led by businesses and other key water and finance sector partners is required.

Why Water is Important for Business

Disruption in water services often results in temporary loss in productivity by water dependent businesses.(1)

The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that while the cumulative cost to households from degrading water and wastewater infrastructure will add up to $59 billion between 2013 and 2020, the cost to the business community will be more than double that, at $147 billion. Water also offers an opportunity to project American leadership and boost exports of U.S. solutions, products, and services abroad.

Priority Issues and Workstreams

  • Financing—promoting increased federal investment in infrastructure modernization, research and development, and smart technologies; expanding public-private partnerships; aligning public and private investments; and mobilizing private capital and an associated pipeline of projects to pilot innovative partnerships.
  • Regulatory flexibility and efficiency of service—proposing commonsense, flexible policies to improve the enabling environment for businesses to continue creative and innovative approaches.
  • Resilience—facilitating resilient infrastructure, including water and watershed management and flood control, through funding and policies to support predisaster mitigation and engaging experts and stakeholders.
  • Small communities and small business needs—providing investments and policy solutions specifically focused on the needs of the agricultural sector, small communities, and small businesses, including improving access to water and sanitation in rural areas.
  • Technology innovation—increasing innovation and its adoption by reducing barriers to implementation, promoting effective utility management, and helping communities achieve the scale and expertise necessary to deploy technology through additional technical assistance and cooperative arrangements. This effort also supports funding the creation of a National Water Infrastructure Test Bed Network (TBN), establishing a national program for collaborating and sharing best practices, and promoting exports of water technologies, products, and services.
  • Workforce development—engaging the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish a workforce development program to ensure the water and wastewater systems of tomorrow.

Why the Chamber

It is imperative that the business community be represented in the water policy debate.

The Chamber is uniquely positioned between the interests of companies and communities, and it has strong strategic relationships with U.S. government agencies, members of Congress, and committees of jurisdiction to lead a new business-driven task force to address many of our nation’s long-standing water needs.

Together, we can bolster our national security and economic growth priorities.

 

For more information and to join this important effort, contact Chuck Chaitovitz, vice president for Environmental Affairs and Sustainability at cchaitovitz@uschamber.com.

 

[1] Federal Emergency Management Agency, “Benefit-Cost Analysis Re-engineering Standard Economic Values” (2011)