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Opinion
Thomas Black

$55 Billion Is a Drop in the Bucket for Water Improvements

Communities have neglected this infrastructure for decades with devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable populations. 

Don’t take it for granted.

Don’t take it for granted.

Photographer: Houston Cofield/Bloomberg

Out of the more than $3 trillion of new spending approved since 2021, the most basic and important part of infrastructure is being shortchanged. Again.

Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, $55 billion is about to start flowing to improve the nation’s wastewater and drinking water systems. That sounds like a lot of money, but it pales in comparison with the $110 billion for roads and bridges, is less than the amounts for broadband internet ($65 billion) and Amtrak ($66 billion) and is on par with the $50 billion for projects to protect against droughts, heat, floods and wildfires.