The Critical Role of the Clean Water State Revolving Fund

Throughout the United States, communities are plagued by water and wastewater management systems that are outdated, damaged, and in serious need of repair or replacement. As a result, countless gallons (numbering in the billions) of untreated water and unsanitary sewage pour into rivers, lakes, and public water systems all over the country. Local governments often simply don’t’ have the necessary funds to make any sort of significant impact on the quality of their wastewater management systems—they lack both the financial power and sometimes the expertise to update their systems.

This is where the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. The CWSRF is a nationwide organization that partners with state and local governments to provide special funding for the improvement of sewage management and wastewater infrastructure. Launched in 1987, this organization has been funding well over one billion dollars per year to fund community sewage infrastructure products for the safety and security of communities and individuals.

The CWSRF operates by providing local governments with a variety of financing options and flexible loans so that they are able to launch or maintain the water projects they need to ensure the safety of their waterways. These loans are paid back over time in order to continue funding the CWSRF, allowing the organization to further serve other organizations. In this way, it’s an incredibly self-sustaining project.

But just how important is the Clean Water State Revolving Fund? As an example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency anticipates that over $300 billion in national water infrastructure improvements and upgrades will be necessary in just the next 20 years. Without funding from the CWSRF, many of these projects have no hope of being properly funded. This would mean tainted water in communities all over the country that would affect drinking, swimming, fishing, and wildlife.

As another example of the urgent need for funding via the CWSRF, the Great Lakes area of the American Midwest (which utilizes 36% of the CWSRF’s total funding) is still using water systems that have been in place for over 100 years. They are degraded, critically damaged and failing every day. These are the communities that need the CWSRF most.

Clean water is a critically important resource, especially considering that most of our drinking water comes from public water surfaces like lakes and rivers. If our poorly maintained wastewater treatment systems are causing us to dump sewage into those waterways, what does that say about the sanitation of our drinking water?

Funding for wastewater management infrastructure in communities across the nation is absolutely vital, and this makes organizations like the Clean Water State Revolving fund critical allies for the future of our communities.

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