Water Sector Announces New Initiatives at White House Water Summit

On World Water Day, March 22, the White House hosted a Water Summit to shine a spotlight on creative, cross-cutting solutions to solve today’s water challenges. Federal agencies, business leaders, local utilities and practitioners, and environmental organizations announced 150 new efforts and commitments to accelerate water innovation, investment and sustainability in the United States.

Water sector associations, companies, utilities and consulting firms each announced new commitments that will aim to advance water management, policy, education and innovation spotlighted at the White House Water Summit. Value of Water Coalition partners, for example, joined other national leaders in committing to nearly $4 billion in private capital investments in water infrastructure, over $1 billion for research and development, $35 million in Federal grants, and a presidential memorandum and action plan for long-term drought resilience.

“These unprecedented commitments are a sobering acknowledgment of how urgently our drinking water delivery systems need updating and greater protections against lead and other toxic chemicals,” said Rhea Suh, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “America’s water system was once the envy of the world, but it has fallen into alarming disrepair. Now is the time to fix our nation’s crumbling water infrastructure, which threatens not just water from the taps in every American home and school, but public health overall. Nothing is more precious than safe drinking water; and every man, woman and child deserves nothing less.”

In addition, following the White House’s call to action issued in December, more than 150 external institutions are joining the Federal government in announcing new efforts and commitments to enhance the sustainability of water in the United States by managing our water resources and infrastructure for the long term. These efforts and commitments include needed steps to accelerate development, demonstration, and deployment of innovative technologies; support critical research; enhance data collection, access, and usability; conserve water and water basins; raise public awareness; and deliver tools and technologies so that we can ensure that future generations have access to safe and reliable water resources.

Click here to learn more about all of the commitments and announcements made on World Water Day. They include:

Nearly $4 billion in private capital committed to investment in a broad range of water-infrastructure projects nationwide. This includes $1.5 billion from Ultra Capital to finance decentralized and scalable water-management solutions, and $500 million from Sustainable Water to develop water reclamation and reuse systems.

More than $1 billion from the private sector over the next decade to conduct research and development into new technologies. This includes $500 million from GE to fuel innovation, expertise, and global capabilities in advanced water, wastewater, and reuse technologies.

A Presidential Memorandum and supporting Action Plan on building national capabilities for long-term drought resilience in the United States, including by setting drought resilience policy goals, directing specific drought resilience activities to be completed by the end of the year, and permanently establishing the National Drought Resilience Partnership as an interagency task force responsible for coordinating drought-resilience, response, and recovery efforts.

Nearly $35 million this year in Federal grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support cutting-edge water science;

The release of a new National Water Model that will dramatically enhance the Nation’s river-forecasting capabilities by delivering forecasts for approximately 2.7 million locations, up from 4,000 locations today (a 700-fold increase in forecast density).

Moving forward, the White House will continue to carefully examine and take action in areas where further effort is needed to protect the nation’s water resources and build a sustainable water future.

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