When we talk about infrastructure we often overlook the conservation that involves the public and their role in making infrastructure projects a reality. An article published by Mitch Tobin details the public support for future water investment.
Of the $1 trillion proposed budget for the nation’s dilapidated infrastructure only a small percentage is expected to be allocated to water project. However, polling data revels the public’s willingness to pay for improvements to water structures and management. It’s no surprise that Americans aren’t happy with the state of the nation’s infrastructure. What we found interesting was that in a global survey conducted in 2016 by Ipsos revealed that respondents ranked “water and sewage systems” as their top priorities for infrastructure improvements.
“Americans prioritize water system, road and energy infrastructure as their preferred focus for development,” Ipsos reported. The poll also found that 76 percent of Americans believe investing in infrastructure is vital to future economic growth and 69 percent think community views on projects should be heard properly, even if it means delays. (Tobin)
In California, awareness of water management is an all-time high as the state exits a five-year drought. This poll reveals the concerns of the rest of our nation aligns with those closest to areas affected by failing water infrastructure (see our blog about the Oroville Dam crisis here). Looking towards the future we can expect an increase in spending in support of water projects.
“An overwhelming majority would be willing to consider an increase of at least 5 percent, with a quarter of respondents even willing to pay a 10 percent increase,” pollsters Linda DiVall and Geoffrey Garin note in their slide deck summarizing the 2016 results. “Somewhat curious is the pattern of groups willing to pay over 10 percent: Younger adults, minorities, and those with lower incomes.”
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