New Poll Shows 78% of Voters Support Federal Investment in Water Infrastructure

WASHINGTON, DC (April 29, 2021)—A new poll by the Value of Water Campaign released today shows that American voters’ support for increasing federal water infrastructure investment (78 percent) remains high, is bipartisan, and is on par with eliminating COVID-19 and strengthening the American economy as a top priority.

The poll results found that while 83 percent of American voters support ensuring a reliable supply of water, there is a growing concern about the state of national water infrastructure, with only 47 percent of Americans rating the nation’s water infrastructure as good.

For the sixth year in a row, the Value of Water Campaign poll surveyed over 1,000 American voters for the annual Value of Water Index.

The poll asked voters to rate their support on water issues, including the state of local and national water infrastructure, support for water infrastructure investment, and trust and support for water systems. Support for investing in water infrastructure cuts across age, gender, party, geography, and ideology.

Key poll findings include:

—Americans’ support for rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure (72 percent), ensuring a reliable supply of water (83 percent), and addressing drinking water contamination (77 percent) is on par with strengthening the economy (81 percent) and eliminating COVID-19 (73 percent).

—Support for increasing federal investment remains high (78 percent).

—71 percent of respondents support ensuring that the water and wastewater sector receive federal COVID-19 relief in proportion to that of other infrastructure sectors.

—Nearly four in five Americans say they trust that the water delivered to their home is safe (78 percent).

—Similarly, four in five Americans trust that the water pipes in their homes are safe (80 percent).

—Voters feel very positively about their local water infrastructure, with 79 percent of all respondents rating their local water infrastructure as somewhat or very good.

—62 percent of voters support a $1.2 trillion upgrade to water and wastewater systems. That percentage climbs to 69 percent when voters are given more information about the state of the nation’s water infrastructure and the need for investment.

—Voters are highly satisfied with their water and wastewater service (85 percent). As in the past, voters are highly satisfied with their water, wastewater and stormwater service, view it as affordable, and trust that the water delivered to their home is safe.

Dave Metz, partner and president of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz, and Associates (FM3), who helped to conduct the poll, said: "The bipartisan support for investing in water infrastructure is impressive, especially as few issues have such consistently high voter support. It's also remarkable to see that support for ensuring a reliable supply of water is on par with public support for addressing COVID-19 and strengthening the economy."

Sara Aminzadeh, Vice President of Partnerships of the US Water Alliance, said: "Water utilities provide an essential service, protect public health, and help communities to thrive. These systems are in desperate need of repair and modernization and the needs are only growing and compounding annually. The gap between what the country needs to spend on its water infrastructure and what is actually spent each year is tens of billions of dollars. Congress has a clear mandate to address voters’ concerns by working with the Biden administration to pass a comprehensive infrastructure package immediately that includes a historic investment in water."

A bipartisan research team FM3 (D) and New Bridge Strategy (R) conducted the poll, seeking voters' opinions on the nation's water infrastructure. The team fielded the poll from March 15-21, 2021.



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