I happened to recently see a replay of a documentary entitled “Liquid Assets-The Story of Our Water Infrastructure.” The film is part of a project at Penn State.
There’s a lot of talk right now about funding infrastructure as both a sensible investment in our future and as a means of stimulating the economy, although as Robert Reich pointed out on-air today on CNN, critics will point out large projects can take a while to get going.
But as the documentary mentions, there are projects all over the country involving water and sewer that need funding, and while they may not be as um, sexy, as light rail or big bridges, they are no less vital. And the film doesn’t just focus on big city projects like Atlanta and New York, it also features a small town in Pennsylvania that simply has no sanitary sewer. The lines just empty into the creek, or even worse, back up into lawns and streets. In 2008. Despite a decade or more of efforts to fund a sewer system, little progress has been made. And nobody should care whether these are “real” Americans or “fake” Americans, they’re Americans for crying out loud.
These are the kinds of nuts and bolts issues that Republicans have ignored with their endless and robotic attacks on government and taxes. Sure, nobody wants to pay more taxes, but poop backing up into lawns and streets isn’t exactly a neat thing either.
So as we move into the next administration, it would be wise for the Congress to fund basic water and sewer projects, not only to help the environment but to help our country compete on a global stage. It’s kind of hard to attract business without clean water and sewer systems.