Water Environment Federation forms infrastructure task force

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has formed an Infrastructure Task Force charged with reviewing the issue of infrastructure management and investment in the United States and developing options to address aging and failing water and wastewater systems.

ALEXANDRIA, VA, April 20, 2004 -- The Water Environment Federation (WEF) has formed an Infrastructure Task Force charged with reviewing the issue of infrastructure management and investment in the United States and developing options to address aging and failing water and wastewater systems.

Chaired by WEF Past President Robert McMillon and James Canaday (Engineer-Director, Alexandria Sanitation Authority), the first meeting of the Task Force is scheduled for April 27 in Alexandria, VA.

"Infrastructure is our job," said WEF Executive Director Bill Bertera. "As an educational organization with members from varied disciplines, WEF takes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing the critical issue of infrastructure investment and educating key stakeholders of its importance to protecting public health."

The mission of the Task Force is to propose and promote a three-year educational program for the Federation that focuses on the health benefits of a well-maintained water infrastructure. It was formed with recognition of recent media attention garnered by water quality issues in major metropolitan areas. The Task Force recognizes the need to address this issue as it will continue impacting older communities facing investment and management shortcomings. WEF acknowledges the work conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its Gap Analysis, released in 2002, which estimates the capital needed over the next twenty years will range from $331 billion to $450 billion and from $154 billion to $446 billion for clean water and drinking water, respectively.

"Water and wastewater services help protect public health and the environment. Unfortunately, the water quality community is in an unsustainable position: a mandate to protect water resources with aging, capacity-limited, or non-existent infrastructure assets and diminishing financial resources and commitments," said McMillon. "WEF believes that addressing the inadequacies of infrastructure management and investment should be a national priority."

To obtain more information about water infrastructure and the Federation, please visit www.wef.org.

Founded in 1928, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with members from varied disciplines who work toward the WEF vision of preservation and enhancement of the global water environment. The WEF network includes water quality professionals from 79 Member Associations in over 30 countries.

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