Monday, April 27, 2009

Where next: Clean Water Infrastructure development after the passing of HB 1614?

With the passing of HB 1614, the goal of cleaning up polluted stormwater runoffs in the Puget Sound has risen up in people’s consciousness; and, the task of building clean water treatment plants and other associated infrastructures, a viable alternative to the current status-quo. Investment in clean water infrastructure had taken a back seat for the past five decades, while we all watch the Puget Sound deteriorate in health. The passing of HB 1614 is a call for action to reverse back the poor health of our rivers and estuaries. During the long HB 1614 debate, the oil, petroleum and energy lobby groups fought against this noble idea. It is now time to work together towards achieving a cleaner water and air environment in Washington State. The debate has come and gone. We have chosen to confront the greatest challenge of our time, ensuring that we deliver a cleaner water environment to the generation that is coming behind. It is not an easy task, and no one should believe that a $100 million dollars ‘piggy bank’ is going to do the job. By passing HB 1614 however, we have determined that we are going to do something positive towards protecting our waters and environment from pollution. And here comes the added opportunity. Both state and private sectors now have the opportunity to invest in water project infrastructures that creates jobs, support local government budget, and clean up our groundwater and rivers.

Investment in Clean Water Infrastructure in Washington State offers the private sector the opportunity to make profit from the most critical resource in the world. Investments in clean ups and fresh waters are likely to dwarf the gains made in some other areas of Washington economy, including high tech and aerospace. The reality of this conception is the fact that the coming government mandated investment in infrastructure spending and the added impetus to innovate and create new machinery to solve the age long problem by the private sector, will create a multiplier effect in wealth creation from fresh water support enterprises. The combination of both private and public sector investment efforts have the potential of multiplying wealth while at the same time providing an avenue for us to clean up our rivers, estuaries and water bodies. The multiplier effect of investments in similar efforts in other areas of the world has shown that we can never loose by embarking on this laudable effort or investment. The promise of wealth creation from the simple goal of cleaning up our storm drainage and helping fresh water flow down the Washington Rivers and the Puget Sound cannot be overestimated.
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