Have you ever been erroneously charged thousands of dollars a month for water? Or been unable to use the water from your tap because it’s tainted with lead or other pollutants? Unfortunately, this is a reality for too many people across the U.S. and around the world. And the situation has only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic as millions across the world face water shutoffs even as they are told that one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus is through handwashing.
Everyone deserves access to clean, safe water at rates they can afford. But private water corporations are threatening this most basic of human rights by exploiting it for profit. Here in the U.S., corporate meddling and declining federal funding of infrastructure is leading to unaffordable rates, contaminated water, and more. And it’s low-income folks and communities of color in places like Flint, Michigan and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that bear the brunt of these water injustices.
There is absolutely no reason this should be anyone’s reality, especially during a global pandemic. Thankfully, Senator Sanders, Representative Lawrence, and Representative Khanna just reintroduced the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, and Reliability (WATER) Act to address this growing crisis.
You can be part of the growing movement to support the human right to our most basic necessity: water. Write to your Congressional representatives right now and urge them to cosponsor the WATER Act.
Corporations have spent decades cynically undermining public confidence in public water systems, contributing to a dramatic decline in federal public water funding. After years of corporate interests engineering this austerity, private water corporations step in and present themselves as a solution, often targeting our cities with privatization schemes that are designed first and foremost to generate profit for corporate shareholders — not improve water systems and deliver clean, affordable water to people.
The WATER Act would reverse the decades-long trend of dwindling federal investment in crucial drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. Among other measures, it would help people replace old, lead-ridden water pipes, ensure schools can make needed updates to provide safe water, and provide funding and support to Indigenous and low-income communities in the running of their water systems. All the while creating the potential for upwards of one million jobs at a moment our country needs them most.
The bill is already backed by more than 70 lawmakers and more than 500 advocacy, labor, and faith-based organizations from almost every state. We’ve already waited far too long to overhaul our drinking water and wastewater infrastructure and President Biden has signaled that addressing our nation’s infrastructure crisis is one of his administration’s next top priorities. We have a real chance of including the essential provisions within the WATER Act into this infrastructure agenda.
We need to make sure it has the support it needs to move forward. That’s where you come in.