Water-reliant businesses launch American Business Water Coalition

June 23, 2023
The coalition will provide businesses with a platform to urge the federal government to increase investment in national drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.

A group of water-reliant businesses have officially launched the American Business Water Coalition (ABWC) to address the need for more federal investment into water infrastructure.

ABWC will serve as a platform for participating businesses—and the utilities that serve them — to urge Congress and the Administration to increase investment in water infrastructure, and foster relationships between businesses and their local utilities.

The coalition’s executive team, led by Mae Stevens, senior vice president at Banner Public Affairs and chair of the Banner Water Infrastructure Practice, will provide members with the lobbying, public relations, digital, social and design tools and services needed to advocate for building modern and resilient water infrastructure in America.

“Every business is dependent on our nation’s water infrastructure, and underinvestment is costing American businesses every day,” said Stevens. “The federal government currently pays less than five percent of the investment into our nation’s water infrastructure, leaving the other 95 percent of investment to come from the general public. 83 percent of water utilities in the U.S. believe that they cannot maintain a state of good repair without external funding. We need Congress and the Administration to recognize how widespread this situation is and provide adequate funding for this life-sustaining sector. That is why we have launched ABWC: to provide our nation’s businesses with a platform to advocate for infrastructure that underpins the entire economy.”

It is estimated that restoring the country’s water system to meet the needs of the population will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years. Without a dramatic increase in federal investment, ABWC believes every business in America is at major risk, as illustrated in 2019 when water service disruptions resulted in a $51 billion economic loss for just 11 water-reliant industries.

Founding members of ABWC include:

  • Jacobs
  • Louisville MSD (member of the advisory council)
  • Seattle Public Utilities (member of the advisory council)
  • Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (member of the advisory council)

“Investing in water infrastructure in strategic and innovative ways can help us tackle climate change, lift up communities, protect public health, create jobs and strengthen the economy,” said Susan Moisio, global water market director of Jacobs, a Fortune 500 company. “Jacobs is joining ABWC to help raise awareness for and attain the infrastructure funding needed to secure water for our nation’s future.”

Current and future ABWC members may also have opportunities to help secure long-term water infrastructure funding.