To meet the promise of its day one executive order on Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities, the Biden administration needs to provide low-income communities, communities of color and Indigenous people the same access to clean and safe water that the rest of our nation takes for granted. Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan makes a down payment on that promise by funding improved access to clean water for the overburdened communities of Indian Country. The new administration’s climate executive order acknowledged a history of underinvestment in water and wastewater infrastructure in disadvantaged communities. The needs are immense. A recent survey estimated that over the next 20 years, it will take nearly $473 billion to ensure the safety of our drinking water supply. The need is greatest in poor communities and communities of color, which have long been shortchanged. In a pattern that is all too familiar, $120 billion in federal spending for wastewater and drinking water infrastructure over the last half a century has left communities of color, low-income communities and Indigenous people with large unmet needs for reliable and affordable water infrastructure.ADVERTISEMENTThe most obvious example is evidence that 2 million Americans lack access to adequate plumbing or sanitation — the running… Read full this story
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