Poll: 88 percent of Americans want more federal investment in water

The Value of Water Campaign recently released the results from its third annual national poll demonstrating steadfast bipartisan support for water infrastructure, irrespective of the cost. The results are in and 88 percent of Americans voters agree: Now is the time to invest in the nation’s water infrastructure.

The poll measured responses from 1,000 registered voters and was conducted by the bipartisan research team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates and Public Opinion Strategies.

“Our water infrastructure systems are aging and failing,” said Radhika Fox, director of the Value of Water Campaign and CEO of the US Water Alliance. “We may come from different walks of life, but we all agree that rebuilding our water infrastructure is a priority. Water is one of the most powerful conveners of diverse interests, and our elected officials and those campaigning this year would do well to listen and act on infrastructure.”

Key findings from the poll include:

Water infrastructure is a top priority for voters. Four of five American voters (80 percent) say that rebuilding America’s infrastructure is extremely or very important, with nearly everyone saying it is at least somewhat important (96 percent). Infrastructure outstrips every other issue in this regard including building a wall on the Mexican border, replacing Obamacare, and providing permanent resident status for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival recipients.

Americans want congress to invest in our nation’s water infrastructure before our systems fail. In fact, 88 percent of Americans support increasing federal investment to rebuild our water infrastructure to ensure safe, reliable water service for all communities. Voters support a proactive program of water infrastructure upgrades, rather than fixing problems as they arise (75 percent). They maintain this support when told it would cost over $1 trillion.

Agreement spans party lines: water infrastructure is essential to all. Support for investing in water infrastructure cut across age, gender, party, geography, and ideology. Sixty-six percent of Republicans, 80 percent of Independents, and 88 percent of Democrats agree that investing in our water infrastructure is either extremely or very important.

Ratepayers will do their share. Congress should do the same. When informed that some costs would be borne by ratepayers, 78 percent of Americans continue to support the program to reinvest in our water infrastructure, and 75 percent would be willing to pay a modest increase in local water rates to fund improved service.

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