Press Release

Date: Nov. 16, 2021
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Infrastructure

Today, Representative Sharice Davids released a new report examining the status and safety of water infrastructure in the Third District of Kansas, the second installment in her office's "State of our Systems" series. The series details the most pressing infrastructure needs in the district and how Davids is working to bring federal funds to those projects. Following the first report on bridges, this report highlights present risks and priority projects in local drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater systems. Key findings include:

No comprehensive data exists on lead water lines that carry drinking water in Kansas, but one estimate puts the number as high as 160,000 -- the third highest per capita nationwide.

By 2031, over 80% of the Wyandotte County stormwater systems are forecasted to be in emergency status, needing immediate repairs.

There are 3,975 miles of wastewater pipe in the Third District and nearly $1 billion in wastewater treatment facility repairs are needed over the next 25 years to prevent overflows and failures.

The bipartisan infrastructure bill, which Davids voted to pass, will make the largest investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in our nation's history.

Davids announced these findings today alongside local experts from Johnson County and Unified Government Public Works Departments as well as WaterOne and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities. Speakers joined Davids to emphasize the importance of investing in water infrastructure and praise the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which will bring an estimated $454 million over five years to improve water infrastructure in Kansas and ensure that all Kansans have clean, safe drinking water in their homes, schools, and on Tribal lands. The bill is paid for through a combination of new revenues and savings and has been called the most fiscally responsible infrastructure bill in at least a decade by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"From the water in our tap to the rain in our gutters, water infrastructure touches many parts of our lives. When those systems fail or weaken, it puts our health and safety at risk--including the possibility of lead exposure, wastewater contamination, and more," said Davids. "The bipartisan infrastructure bill we just signed into law has historic investments in water, including targeted funding to identify and replace lead pipes, and help our communities ensure waste and stormwater systems are resilient and safe for years to come."