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U.S. Chamber Kicks Off 'Invest in Water' Initiative with New Jersey Summit

Series of Nationwide Events to Address Water Resource Issues and Challenges Affecting Business

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce joined with the Somerset County Business Partnership and New Jersey American Water Company on November 23 for a Water Infrastructure Summit focused on solutions to the immediate needs and funding necessary to improve New Jersey's aging water infrastructure. The discussion at the New Jersey American Water Company marks the first of a series of targeted regional events across the country organized by the U.S. Chamber to address a full range of water issues.

"There is no element of life more essential than water, and the current issues facing New Jersey demand our immediate attention," said Shannon Meade, Counsel and Director of Research in Environment, Technology, and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber. "By investing in water infrastructure improvements in New Jersey, the state's economy will reap the benefits for years to come."

The majority of the water infrastructure America relies on today was installed after World War II, yet some cities have pipes dating back to the 1800s. Much of this equipment needs to be repaired or replaced. The U.S. Government Accountability Office estimates that, nationwide, up to a $1 trillion investment is needed in drinking water and wastewater systems over the next two decades.

"Today's discussion is just the beginning in our efforts to bring to light what has long been an issue pushed to the back of the line," said Meade. "By bringing together leaders from both government and the business community, we are confident that we can find solutions to improve our nation's water infrastructure while growing the economy at the same time."

The U.S. Chamber formed the Water Issues Working Group to focus on bringing what has been a backburner issue to the forefront of public awareness. The group, which consists of 45 member companies, is planning several events in the coming months as part of the "Invest in Water Series." Scheduled events and topics include:

  • January 2011 – Austin, TX – Water Supply/Conservation
  • February 2011 – Miami, FL – Desalination/Innovative Water Technologies
  • April 2011 – Los Angeles, CA – Energy-Water Nexus
  • June 2011 – Las Vegas, NV – Water Supply/Sustainability
  • August 2011 – New York City, NY – Water Reuse

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world's largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


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