Earlier this week, the Value of Water Campaign released the results of its third annual national poll surveying Americans’ thoughts on our nation’s water system. In the findings, one message rang out loud and clear: Nearly every American (88% of respondents) thinks we need to invest in the nation's water infrastructure.
It’s hard to emphasize just how difficult one day without water would be for all of us! It shouldn’t be a surprise so many people want to ensure our water system’s health and reliability. Unfortunately, our nation’s water system is in poor shape, receiving a D+ in the latest American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card. These findings underscore the urgency we all feel to maintain one of our nation’s most critical public health functions.
Here are some of the key findings from the poll:
Water infrastructure is a top priority for voters.
Four of five American voters (80%) say that rebuilding America's infrastructure is extremely or very important, with nearly everyone saying it is at least somewhat important (96%). In fact, 88% of Americans support increasing federal investment to rebuild our water infrastructure to ensure safe, reliable water service for all communities.
Voters support a proactive program of water infrastructure upgrades, rather than fixing problems as they arise (75%) – even after being told it would cost over $1 trillion.
Ratepayers willing do their share.
When informed that some costs would be borne by ratepayers, 78% of Americans continue to support the program to reinvest in our water infrastructure, and 75% would be willing to pay a modest increase in local water rates to fund improved service. This demonstrates that ratepayers are willing to personally invest in quality water systems, but they also want the government to be a strong partner, supporting a proactive program of federal investment to ensure these systems are providing the services our families and communities rely on.
The poll measured responses from 1,000 registered voters and was conducted by the bipartisan research team of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates, and Public Opinion Strategies.