Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez Cites Economic Impact, Service Reliability as Hallmark of Water and Sewer Infrastructure Investment
(MIAMI, September 12, 2014) – Miami-Dade County’s Water and Sewer Department (WASD) delivers safe, potable drinking water to nearly 2.3 million people every day – more than the total population of 15 states. The largest water and sewer utility in the Southeastern United States, the department is undertaking the largest Capital Improvement Program (CIP) in Miami-Dade County history, which will have far reaching benefits to the community in terms of health, environmental, as well as economic.
“It all starts with water,” said Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “We take for granted that we can turn on a faucet for a drink or a shower, especially because we live in an area surrounded by water, but this precious, natural resource is also a backbone for Miami-Dade County in so many important ways.
“Aging infrastructure is not just an issue in Miami-Dade County. The American Society of Civil Engineers rated the nation’s water and wastewater systems a “D” grade. That’s why I am proud to add my voice, on behalf of Miami-Dade County, with 30 of the largest U.S. water and wastewater utilities to ask Washington to pitch in and help us invest the hundreds of billions of dollars required to strengthen America’s water infrastructure.”
This week, on Capitol Hill, water industry leaders from across the country invited Washington to join them in investing the hundreds of billions of dollars required to strengthen the nation’s water infrastructure – helping bolster America’s workforce and sharpen the nation’s competitive edge. Experts have noted that this greater level of investment to address the aging infrastructure to avert a looming failure is estimated to be $4.8 trillion during the next 20 years nationwide to fix and maintain the current system.
Miami-Dade County has already completed projects that have improved service and provided positive economic impact to the community. The award-winning High Level Disinfection (HLD) Project provided 400 jobs during its construction and increased the peak flow capacity of the South District Wastewater Treatment Plant. This project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget, setting a standard for the massive program of capital improvements that are needed over the coming years.
“During the next two decades, the County will invest approximately $12.6 billion to enhance and upgrade WASD’s infrastructure utilizing state-of-the-art technology. It will be an economic engine that creates 16,470 new jobs over the next 10 years, increases service capacity that will support more businesses to open in the community, improves the reliability and sustainability of the water and sewer system, as well as generating $24.9 billion in economic output,” Mayor Gimenez said.
“Our water is worth it. The investment we make now will benefit today’s residents, future citizens and carry our community into the 22nd Century.”
It is the priority of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department to provide safe, reliable service to its customers. For additional information about Department services and programs, visit www.miamidade.gov/water.