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🗳️ "Water Wins Big in Infrastructure Week"

The Future of Water

Photo by Jay Heike / Unsplash

Host: John Berryman
Guests: Reese Tisdale | President & Co-Founder | Bluefield Research &
Greg Goodwin | Consultant | Bluefield Research
Category: 🗳️ Policy

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[4:18] GG: “[The infrastructure bill] is $1.2 trillion overall […] and about 550 million of that is going to be new spending. When we're talking about water infrastructure related spending, that's about $55 billion that is going to be going towards you various water programs. So the largest of that will be the combined State Revolving Fund […], but interesting to see that there are pretty large outlays both for addressing lead service lines across the country, and for PFAS remediation. […] Funding takes place over a five year period, which kind of starts to eliminate some of the risk of having shovel-ready projects that zero in on the need. And there's also […] an equity component to the bill as well, there's a clear focus on lower income communities and rural areas that are in need of not only infrastructure upgrades, but some basic infrastructure.”

[6:14] RT: “I think the one thing that's interesting about this is […] that water infrastructure […] is getting 10% of the new funding, which is $55 billion. […] When you look at roads and bridges, […] they're getting 110 billion, the power on the grid, they're getting, around 65 billion of the new funding, so that's 12%. So in this case, water infrastructure is closer to the power, grid, and passenger and freight rail and broadband, which are other big ticket items on the list.

[9:13] RT: “I think also, what's interesting is, […] 55 billion is dedicated to water, but when you start looking at things like broadband, or the power and the grid, or roads and bridges, they're actually […] in the value chain of the water sector. […] So, there's more upside than just the 55 billion overall.”

[11:06] GG: “The State Revolving Fund program on both the clean water and drinking water side is going to be where the largest […] dollar figures are going to be dedicated to. So between 2022 and 2026, there's going to be about $29 billion combined between those two programs. And it steps up incrementally during those years. […] That's […] the main avenue for a lot of […] the capital projects that we see out in the marketplace. So there's going to be a fair amount of more money in those buckets than has previously been in recent years. And at least in the short term, there's also going to be sort of a simplification, if you will, of some of the applications process to kind of get some of those projects moving.”

[19:12] RT: “To put in perspective, annually the [US] water sector capital investment […] is about a $50 billion a year market for the municipal water. […] Operating expenditures for water are closer to probably $65-75 billion a year. So all in we're talking, $110-120 billion a year that goes in just municipal water that does not include industrial.”

[23:22] RT: “As always, in the water sector, it seems I think the big winners are engineering firms. They are known to be gatekeepers of sorts to particularly larger projects. […] [Also, companies] focused on lead [are winners]. […] Whether it be engineering firms, whether it [the] emerging group of digital solutions providers that are finding ways to […] identify where the lead problem is without breaking ground. […] The other part of that is who's going to do the replacement of the lead service lines and those would be more local contractors. […] Digital is not necessarily a line item, but cybersecurity is a big area of interest. […] So, that's a market that's going to balloon.”

Rating: 💧💧💧

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify
🕰️ 38 min | 🗓️ 11/23/2021
✅ Time saved: 36 min

Additional Links:
Bluefield Research Newsletter: Waterline