There are several aspects of a functioning water system: drinking systems, wastewater systems, levees, climate change mitigation, and dams. Currently, state and local governments are responsible for the cost of fixing these systems. With the general lack of revenues that local governments are experiencing, it is no wonder that water systems are deteriorating. The Green New Deal would provide Federal funds for fixing the water systems of the country, thus freeing funds for other local government needs.
Reliable drinking water must be available to all inhabitants. In their report card for drinking water, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) quotes an estimate from the EPA of $338 billion over 20 years to upgrade drinking systems. On the other hand, they also quote a report from the American Water Works Association claiming that $2.1 trillion would be required to replace every water pipe in the country. Let's say we need $500 billion, or $25 billion per year over 20 years. At $50,000 per job, we have 500,000 jobs, with 125,000 coming from manufacturing.
In the wastewater report card of the ASCE, it is estimated that fixing waste water systems would cost about $300 billion per year for 20 years, which comes out to about $15 billion per year, with 300,000 jobs, including 75,000 in manufacturing.
Levees account for another $100 billion, according to the ASCE. Let's double that number to account for climate-change related construction work, for instance, for New York City. Then we have $10 billion per year, with 200,000 jobs, and 50,000 in manufacturing. Finally, the ASCE says that we need $21 billion to fix dams in danger of collapsing. Let's double that figure and assume $2 billion per year, with 40,000 jobs overall, and 10,000 in manufacturing.
So our totals for cost and jobs are the following:
|Water program||Cost (billion dollars)||Total jobs||Manufacturing jobs|
|Climate change adaptation||5||100,000||25,000|