Budget Cut Threat: Drinking Water Restrictions

Here’s a closer look at how federal investments are tackling serious threats in communities and why these important investments need to continue.

On the Detroit waterfront, people take advantage of the fountain to play. Keeping our drinking water safe and affordable also benefits cities economically, drawing people to town. Photo: Donna Kert

Threat: Drinking water restrictions due to contaminated water or unaffordable drinking water and wastewater bills, and sewage runoff into the Great Lakes.

What the federal government is doing: The federal government is investing money to protect drinking water infrastructure, including sources of drinking water, and implement best practices to protect and naturally filter water in the Great Lakes. Click here to see the programs that work together to prevent drinking water contamination and restore drinking water sources in the Great Lakes.

Ongoing Need: Investments in drinking water and wastewater infrastructure are badly needed: The Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York need $179 billion over the next 20 years to meet the clean water needs of the communities in the region, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Federal support is critical to help defray the costs to communities so that water is affordable and accessible to all of the region’s people.

Impact of Budget Cuts: Drinking water would be further threatened with contaminates, like the on-going lead crisis in Flint, Mich. Sewage bills would continue to rise, becoming too expensive for more and more families across the Great Lakes region. Heavy rains would flood more and more neighborhoods and basements, while also causing more sewage overflows into the lakes. And nationally 6 billion gallons per day, if not more, of perfectly clean drinking water would continue to be wasted due to leaks in our crumbling infrastructure—that’s enough water for 15 million households.