ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The message in Washington was loud and clear: Investment in water infrastructure is an investment in America’s future, according to a press release.

Top water leaders from the private and public sector joined together in Washington, D.C. recently to make the business case for water infrastructure investment during the well-attended National Water Infrastructure Summit and concurrent testimony before the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee on Appropriations, stated the release.

Organized by the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the national Water for Jobs campaign partners, the free summit raised awareness about the need for resilient water infrastructure and how reinvestment in water creates jobs, drives innovation and safeguards public health.

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At the same time, Matthew Millea, deputy county executive for Physical Services for the County of Onondaga (N.Y.) sought additional federal funding for clean water projects as he testified before the House Interior and Environment Subcommittee on Appropriations, noted the release.

Summit Moderator John R. Bigelow, senior vice president of Business Services for American Water, opened the discussion by offering some perspective on the sheer vastness of this largely invisible network of pipes and tunnels — nearly 1.4 million miles span across the U.S., which is eight times the length of the U.S. highway system — its reliability and need for attention.

Much of the U.S. infrastructure was built more than a century ago and currently around 10 percent of these systems are at the end of their service life. If not addressed by 2020, this number could rise to 44 percent.

Read the entire press release here.