Investment in the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRFs) create a massive returns on investment in tax revenues, jobs, and overall economic development.
The Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the WateReuse Association on May 3 released a report detailing new economic benefits analysis. The report finds that funding the requested $34.7 billion of federal SRF spending will generate $102.7 billion in total economic input and create more than 500,000 U.S. jobs.
Using the IMPLAN economic model — which captures the effect of spending as it ripples through the economy — the organizations examined the estimated impacts (output, labor income, jobs, and federal tax revenue) of SRF-funded projects in four example states.
Congressional request and recognition
WEF and WateReuse conducted the analysis at the request of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) for an April 7 hearing that examined the federal role in water/wastewater infrastructure funding. The preliminary findings were included in the organizations’ joint testimony and have since been verified and officially entered into the committee’s official record.
EPW included a Sense of the Senate provision in S. 2848, The Water Resources Development Act of 2016, which cited the findings of the WEF/WateReuse analysis, and calls upon Congress to provide robust funding for the SRF programs. EPW passed the bill on April 28 and the bill now awaiting full Senate consideration.
Based on an assumption that the proposed $34.7 billion in allocations — $14.7 billion for drinking water and $20 billion for clean water — would be spent over a 10-year period (2017-2021), the final report includes the following findings:
- $34.7 billion in federal SRF spending results in $7.43 billion in federal tax revenues.
- When leveraged with the state SRF program funds, a $34.7 billion federal investment will result in $32.3 billion in federal tax revenue — that’s $0.93 for every dollar spent.
- On average, 16.5 jobs are created for each million dollars of SRF funding, meaning that a $34.7 billion federal investment will result in 506,000 new jobs; and
- Every million dollars of SRF spending results in $2.95 million in U.S. economic input, meaning that a $34.7 billion federal investment will generate $102.7 billion in total economic input.
“SRFs are widely acknowledged as one of the most successful infrastructure funding programs, yet the resources needed to maintain and upgrade our systems remains out of sync with current investment levels,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “This report shows that water and wastewater infrastructure is a sound and wise economic investment that also provides immeasurable returns for public health, the environment, and our future.”
“There’s little dispute that our nation’s infrastructure is badly in need of repair,” said WateReuse Association Executive Director Melissa Meeker. “With release of this report, it’s also abundantly clear that SRFs both contribute to a high quality of life for taxpayers and foster a robust economy.”
Download the full economic report, WEF/WateReuse Analysis of National Economic, Job Creation, and Tax Revenue Benefits from Increased Funding to the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds.
To find out more information please contact WEF Legislative Affairs, Steve Dye, firstname.lastname@example.org.