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Water: Sustainable Infrastructure

Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy

EPA has issued its Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy as part of its efforts to promote sustainable infrastructure within the water sector.

Sustainably managing our water infrastructure is one of the biggest challenges facing the water sector and is essential to protecting human health and the environment and realizing the goals of clean and safe water. Communities across the country are facing challenges with their water infrastructure—often comprised of aging systems in need of significant upgrade and repair. The investments made now in water sector infrastructure can have profound impacts on long-term community sustainability. Through this policy, EPA is helping to ensure that federal investments, policies, and actions support water infrastructure in efficient and sustainable locations to best aid existing communities, enhance economic competitiveness, and promote affordable neighborhoods. 

The policy was released in response to a request in the FY 2010 President’s budget. In developing the policy, EPA reached out to federal, state, and local officials to obtain input.  These stakeholders provided a number of key insights on water and wastewater infrastructure sustainability that EPA took into consideration.

The Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy emphasizes the need to build on existing efforts to promote sustainable water infrastructure, working with states and water systems to employ robust, comprehensive planning processes to deliver projects that are cost effective over their life cycle, resource efficient, and consistent with community sustainability goals. The policy encourages communities to develop sustainable systems that employ effective utility management practices to build and maintain the level of technical, financial, and managerial capacity necessary to ensure long-term sustainability. 

This policy represents a collaborative effort between EPA and its federal, state, and local partners.  Working with these partners, EPA will develop guidance, provide technical assistance, and target federal state revolving fund capitalization funds and other relevant federal financial assistance to increase the sustainability of our water infrastructure.

Download the Clean Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure Sustainability Policy (PDF) (5 pp, 121 KB) for complete details. For answers to some frequently asked questions on the policy, download the Policy FAQs Sheet (PDF) (2pp, 172K).

Please contact James Horne, (202) 564-0571, of the Office of Wastewater Management, Municipal Support Division, with any questions regarding the policy.


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