Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota


Rep. Ellison Introduces Bill to Guarantee Safe Drinking Water on Flint Anniversary

Apr 25, 2018
Press Release

Bill would invest $35 billion each year in water infrastructure and clean water programs

WASHINGTON — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) today introduced the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (WATER) Act of 2018 (H.R. 5609), which would provide clean and safe drinking water to millions of people while creating nearly a million jobs.

“Today marks the four-year anniversary of the crisis in Flint, Michigan, but the reality is water infrastructure around the country has been neglected for decades," said Rep. Ellison. “Low-income communities and communities of color can’t be expected to thrive when they lack basic necessities like water. We are one of the richest nations in the world: it is time to guarantee clean water as a right for all.”

“Fourteen million U.S. households are struggling to pay for water that too often isn't even safe to drink,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Decades of federal underinvestment has left many communities, particularly low-income and minority neighborhoods, with leaky and contaminated water systems. It's past time that we ensure everyone in this country has access to the most basic human need: clean drinking water.”

“A waning federal commitment to public water infrastructure in recent decades has created a growing water crisis in our country, and our most vulnerable communities are taking the brunt of this disinvestment,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of the national advocacy organization Food & Water Watch. “This legislation would reverse this trend and ensure affordable, clean water for future generations while creating good jobs. As water rates hit astronomical highs for many American communities, we commend Rep. Ellison and Rep. Khanna for their leadership to guarantee clean water for all.”

The bill is supported by Food & Water Watch, American Federation of Teachers (AFT), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW), ACRE, Corporate Campaign, Inc., Earthjustice, Greenpeace, Hip Hop Caucus, In the Public Interest, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Lady Freethinker, National Nurses United, Office of Peace, Justice, and Ecological Integrity, Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth, People Demanding Action, People’s Action, PolicyLink, Public Citizen, Rural Coalition, Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, The Story of Stuff Project, National Latino Farmers & Ranchers Trade Association, Clean Water Action, United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union (USW) and NAACP.