Last Wednesday the US Congress presented a stimulus package including funds for several private sectors, but not for the water sector, reports Water Finance & Management.
The announced $2 trillion coronavirus relief package includes funding for child nutrition, virus research grants, and telework support, but no assistance for those facing difficulties to pay their bills because they lost their job during the pandemic, according to Circle of Blue.
Adam Krantz, CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), stated that while the package offers help to families, organizations and businesses being hit by the COVID-19 crisis, it does not support water services, more essential than ever at this time, when ensuring clean water and sanitation for homes, hospital and essential industries is critical.
NACWA estimates a 20% revenue loss by the public water sector due to the coronavirus crisis. This is a result of the suspension of water shutoffs at homes with unpaid bills, as well as service restoration, to ensure public health. In addition, commercial and industrial water use has decreased driving revenues down. The Association calls for assistance for low-income households to pay for their water bills, the same as it is done with energy and food assistance.
‘Congress must recognize and support the water sector workforce’s sacrifice and contributions during this time of need by providing the financial relief this sector needs and requests’, said Krantz.