At-Large Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman has joined the WaterNow Alliance, an association of over 400 local leaders and elected officials across the country working to identify and overcome barriers and provide tools and resources to build local support for policies and programs that advance sustainable water management.
“Ensuring that residents of Springfield have access to safe and affordable drinking water is essential,” said Councilor Lederman, “Recent events including the hearings held with the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission have made clear that we must demand a higher level of investment from the federal government to support local water infrastructure.”
Councilor Lederman has also signed on to a national letter authored by the WaterNow Alliance and the National League of Cities to congressional leaders urging increased grant funding and zero interest loans to support water infrastructure upgrades with less financial impact to rate-payers, as well as increased incentives for sustainable water practices.
“Aging infrastructure and climate change are creating an unfortunate storm,” said Councilor Lederman, who is also Chairman of the City Council’s Committee on Sustainability & Environment, “We have already seen the impacts in Springfield of both, such as the increase in haloacetic acids that residents have received notifications of.”
In 2019 Councilor Lederman held Committee Meetings regarding the increase in haloacetic acids in Springfield's drinking water.
Councilor Lederman said he hopes to work with national partners like the WaterNow Alliance as well as local leaders to continue advocating for increased federal funding to address these issues without ratepayers bearing the full cost as they are now.
“One important aspect that was highlighted during our hearings with the Springfield Water and Sewer Commission was that when our water infrastructure was originally built it was heavily subsidized by the Federal Government,” said Councilor Lederman, “Now, it is being maintained and rebuilt almost exclusively by the local ratepayers. We need more resources to ease the financial burden while still providing the best possible water quality.”