2.2 million Americans don’t have access to water and wastewater services in their homes. 44 million more recently experienced water quality issues. Isn’t it time to effectively close the water gap?
The first step to closing is probably acknowledging: an information mission that’s been taken on by DigDeep. Today, we’ll explore how they act to help populations we’ve left behind for too long. Are you wondering how you could help, too? Let’s explore:
with 🎙️ George McGraw – CEO & Founder of DigDeep
💧 DigDeep is a human rights nonprofit serving the 2.2 million+ Americans without the sinks, bathtubs, or toilets that the rest of the US takes for granted.
This episode is part of my Series on the Water Crisis in America
What we covered:
🤯 How 2.2 million Americans don’t have access to water and wastewater services at home and how these places affected by the Water Gap could be at a 10-minute drive of your home
🍀 How investing in water offers an insane return on investment of five dollars for one!
😊 How access to water solves a wide array of problems, starting with undervalued ones like type two diabetes
🌱 How DigDeep came to existence, what it aims to solve and how it intends to have an impact on these million lives
🚰 How closing the gap doesn’t stop at the people that desperately miss WASH services but also involves guaranteeing better tap water quality to 44 million Americans
🤝 How we will need to think a bit laterally and change our approach to closing the water gap – as traditional approaches have failed for decades
💸 How closing the water gap is before all a wrong pocket problem, what it involves, and how we can tackle this
🥛 How looking at the water challenge, you can see whether a half-full or a half-empty glass (pun unintended)
🏫 When DigDeep envisions achieving its mission and why seeing them disappear would be awesome news for all the right reasons
🚱 How solving up to the nitty gritty details will build a better world, one plumbing line at a time
✈️ The limits of central governments, finding the right catchphrase, getting inspired by the Airline Industry, One Water, Joining the movement, leveraging federal investment… and much more!
🔥 … and of course, we concluded with the 𝙧𝙖𝙥𝙞𝙙 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙚 𝙦𝙪𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨 🔥
➡️ Send your warm regards to George on LinkedIn. Or follow DigDeep on Twitter.
➡️ Check DigDeep’s website
➡️ A big THANK YOU to Sciens Water for enabling this episode!
is on Linkedin ➡️
Teaser 1: Race is the strongest predictor for whether or not you have access to water
Teaser 2: Only a few really focus on Closing the Water Gap
Teaser 3: The Water Gap exists since the beginning – it’s social justice to close it
Teaser 4: Almost a third of American households may not be able to pay their water bills in future
Teaser 5: The US economy loses $16’000 per Household that falls into the Water Gap
Teaser 6: How Karen Changed DigDeep’s Destiny
Full Video: My conversation with George McGraw
Table of contents
- What we covered:
- Teaser 1: Race is the strongest predictor for whether or not you have access to water
- Teaser 2: Only a few really focus on Closing the Water Gap
- Teaser 3: The Water Gap exists since the beginning – it’s social justice to close it
- Teaser 4: Almost a third of American households may not be able to pay their water bills in future
- Teaser 5: The US economy loses $16’000 per Household that falls into the Water Gap
- Teaser 6: How Karen Changed DigDeep’s Destiny
- Full Video: My conversation with George McGraw
- Full Transcript:
- 2.2 million Americans don’t have any access to water and wastewater services at home
- Investing in water access provides a 5 to 1 return rate
- How and for How Long does DigDeep intend to solve this problem?
- 44 million US citizens are served by water systems that recently had health-based violations
- How can we close this water gap?
- The Water Gap is a Wrong Pocket problem
- The solution won’t come (only) from central governments
- Closing the Water Gap is a Half-Full / Half-Empty glass paradox
- We need a streamlined catch phrase to gather the public opinion
- When will DigDeep consider it has achieved its mission?
- DigDeep is hiring; you can join the movement!
- Rapid Fire Questions
- The trend for federal investment in water infrastructure
- Other Episodes:
These are computer-generated, so expect some typos 🙂
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Antoine Walter: Hi George. Welcome to the show!
George McGraw: Thanks for having me on, Antoine.
Antoine Walter: I can’t stress enough how happy I am to have that discussion with you today. I was discussing with Colin Goddard from Source, and he referred to the work you’re doing at DigDeep.
2.2 million Americans don’t have any access to water and wastewater services at home
I then had some very fascinating reads about your reports! Well, on the one hand, very interesting; on the other hand, quite alarming. Which leads me to that simple question, what do we have to rethink in water?
George McGraw: You’re right; it’s a good mix of pleasure in pain. In my business at Dig Deep, we’re focused on the 2.2 million Americans who don’t have any access to water and wastewater services at home.
Places without water could be at a 10-minute drive from your home
And I think it’s not so much about rethinking; it’s about thinking, maybe for the first time, about these Americans. Most of my friends and family, and colleagues, know about places without water access, but they assume those places are in Sub-Saharan Africa or Latin America, or Southeast Asia, not maybe a 10-minute drive from their house.
These folks live in all 50 states. And you know, it’s not a surprise to anyone that race is the strongest predictor of whether or not you and your family have access to water in 2022.
Indigenous folks are 19 times more likely than white families not to have running water. Black and Latino families are twice as likely, and there’s a lot more to be said, but I think putting some real sustained emphasis on what we call this water and wastewater access gap, these families who have sort of fallen through the cracks over the course of time, is really important, especially now as climate change accelerates and we’re seeing this number grow.
Antoine Walter: Do you have a rationale for these 2.2 million people having no access to water? Because it’s a terrible question – sorry. But if you look at the work, that water.org is doing, they show how there are these coping costs of not having access to water, and the coping costs are twice, three times higher than the cost to bring water to everybody.
So it is economic nonsense that people in 2022 still don’t have access to water. How can they fall into these cracks?
Investing in water access provides a 5 to 1 return rate
George McGraw: You know, for a long time, we didn’t have that number in the US There have been some incredible people, Gary Pierce, and others through UN agencies and universities who have been asking that economic question.
What economic sense does it make to invest in what we call wash water, sanitation, and hygiene services in other countries? We recently did the same study at Dig Deep. In the US, we call the study draining. The focus is on the economic impact of these services in the US and we find that for every dollar we invest in access to toilets and taps for families in the US you get a $5 economic return.
Access to Water solves a wide range of problems – like type two diabetes
Being able to make that economic argument is really powerful. In and of itself, but if you really dig into the data, it’s helpful to see how holistic this problem really is. You know, you’re looking at eliminating waterborne illness. You’re looking at putting work and school hours back into the economy, eliminating diseases that maybe people aren’t even thinking about, like type two diabetes.
If you don’t have access to running water at home, you’re more likely to consume sugar-sweetened beverages. And more likely to get type two diabetes.
These are the sort of knock-on effects in the economy that impact GDP, for instance. And the US economy right now is bleeding out almost 9 billion a year that we leave this gap open.
But to sort of Gary and Matt’s point over water.org, if we were to invest the several tens of billions upfront to close that gap for good, we could generate 200, 250 billion in economic value over the next 50 years in the US. So it’s not just a nice thing to do, you know. It makes economic sense.
It is economic nonsense to use your phrase, not to solve the problem.
How and for How Long does DigDeep intend to solve this problem?
Antoine Walter: What is the root story of dig deep? Why do you exist?
George McGraw: You know, I wish I could say that we solve this problem and formed to solve it, but it’s a little more complicated than that. My background is in international human rights law, and my focus is on water and sanitation access.
I always wanted to work in water, but like many, I thought if you wanted to work on this issue, you had to work abroad. And so when I started to dig deep, in my bedroom a little over a decade ago, our focus was on South Sudan and then Cameroon. Building water access systems using these strategies that have come from 60 years of doing that work as a sector abroad.
The wake-up call: realizing that the access to water problem existed much closer than everyone thought
And then, one day, I got a call from a Donator. A woman named Karen in California who said: “I wanna donate $50, but I want you to spend it in the US on the Navajo Nation.” And I was like, Karen, nobody needs that money here. Why don’t you let me spend it where it’ll save lives? And she called me not a very nice name, I think, on the phone.
Karen had been doing Habitat for Humanity style projects on the Navajo Reservation, which is the country’s largest native reservation in the south-west. And the homes that she was building with her colleagues didn’t have bathrooms or kitchens. She turned to her Navajo colleagues, and they said: “Well, yeah, we’re not gonna build those because there’s no running water here, and it’s not coming.”
And she was so flabbergasted by this. She started calling all of these US-based water organizations. I’m sure she called water.org, Charity Water, and you know, water for people in water aid and all the others. And everyone said: no. There’s not a problem in the US, or we don’t work in the US or, you know, find someone else.
DigDeep pivoted its action to focus on US water-deprived populations
And so by the time she got to us, I think at the bottom of the list, she was very frustrated. She is fortunate enough to catch me at a time when I’d do anything for $50! So I rode in a car out with her to meet with some folks on the Navajo Nation. Some political officials and some water folks, and the Navajo Water Project was born, which is our first project in the US.
Since then, we’ve expanded into more communities in Appalachia and the Texas border region in communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Alabama.
All 50 states have this problem. And so we’re the first organization really focused on closing that gap, on solving that problem in the US. And that’s really all we’re focused on now.
44 million US citizens are served by water systems that recently had health-based violations
Antoine Walter: To close that gap, I guess there’s no magical trick, but the work you’ve been doing to start by putting a number, putting the facts straight, is probably the most eye-opening element. Because there are these 2.2 million people which don’t have access to water at all.
But there are also the tens of millions who have access to water. Which had health violations of the clean water acts over the past years. And there as well, you’re shining a light on that topic, which can be eye-opening for many.
George McGraw: It’s interesting you say that. I mean, most people, when they think of DigDeep, they think of our access work.
That’s like the sort of beating heart of our work, right? Like, The Navajo Water Project, the Appalachia Water Project, and the Colonial Water Project. Teams of people who go out every day and hook up homes, either on or off-grid, to systems that get them hot and cold, running water, and flush toilets. And, you know, tens of families every week are turning on the water for the first time cuz of our work.
And it’s really exciting, and that’s where it’s sort of the emotion and the passion are, but you’re right that that’s not enough by itself.
“Closing the Water Gap” – a seminal Research Work
I think the work we did in 2019 to publish this first report on water access in the US called closing the water access gap in the United States. I co-authored that with the woman who is now assistant administrator of the EPA for water. The head of water, basically, you know, the de-facto head of water for the US government, Radhika Fox.
And it was the first to kind of put a number out there, these 2.2 million Americans and growing, and the first to help people understand the so socioeconomic dynamics like race, the geography of this problem lay out a roadmap for how to solve it. More than any of our access projects, it has really helped crystallize this for folks and help them understand that this isn’t just something a few people are struggling with in remote places out of choice.
This is a really all-consuming daily reality for so many folks who don’t have a choice and who would choose to live another way if they could, and who have been forgotten in the way our country has developed its infrastructure and who, without really continued sustained intention, will continue to be forgotten. I think.
How can we close this water gap?
Antoine Walter: That’s the problem. Let’s look at the solution. Do you think that gap can be closed with traditional approaches, or does it require innovation in new ways and probably even things that we haven’t invented yet?
George McGraw: I think if it could be closed with traditional approaches, it already would have been. The reason the gap exists is because there’s something that’s not working, and it’s not just one thing!
I think the biggest culprits are a lack of visibility and data at the government level. You know, we don’t have a single indicator of how many people don’t have access to water and sanitation. That’s granular enough for us to be able to knock that number down to zero.
The focus on the large-scale municipal systems has failed a portion of the population – and it’s time to change
I think it’s the way that we build and fund water systems, this focus on municipal systems. And sort of leaving everyone else to build their own well or build their own septic system when there needs to be a third approach. Something that can reach smaller communities at scale.
Something that’s a little more flexible, a little more creative. The same thing on the funding side. I think we’ve been focused so long on funding water access systems that sustain themselves through bill payment. It’s even the way we’ve looked at this problem since the late seventies. If your water and sanitation system can’t sustain itself through the rates that your users are paying, it must not be worth it.
And we know just from that economic data I told you about earlier that’s just not true. For every household that doesn’t have access to water and sanitation, the US economy is losing almost $16,000 per household per year.
In many cases, over the course of a few years, that compounds to enough losses that it would more than pay for extending services either on or off-grid to that home.
So it doesn’t make economic sense, but it keeps going.
The Water Gap is a Wrong Pocket problem
Antoine Walter: The problem is that if you’re the water utility, you’ll have the cost of bringing that water to the people. If they get less sick and don’t go to the hospital. You don’t get the value out of it. Both streams don’t end in the same pocket.
George McGraw: You’ve hit the problem on its head.
The reason that has continued is because we have a wrong pockets problem. What economists would call this wrong pockets problem.
The societal benefits don’t accrue to the same folks that would necessarily make the investment to solve the problem. And in the US, in most cases, that’s either municipalities leveraging federal funds as loans that they have to prove their eligibility for. Or it’s private water companies who are economically disincentivized because of this wrong pockets problem from extending these systems.
Federal grants and loans could help solve the issue
Or in the case of municipal systems, their hands are tied because they can’t access the funds they need to extend it cuz they can’t prove the financial sustainability of those investments and therefore access federal funding, so that wrong pockets problem gets in the way. But that’s an even stronger argument for why the federal government needs to take a more aggressive approach out front, make more grants versus loans, and make more money available.
Especially when you look at this from a social justice standpoint. I mean, as someone you know who’s really deeply invested in this idea that we all have a human right to water and sanitation, that having access to those things is necessary for us to experience dignity as a human person, you know.
Closing the Water Gap is a matter of social justice
These communities that are without access right now. They’ve been without access, most of them since the beginning. They were never given the same investment as predominantly white communities were, sometimes right next to them.
And if we’re going to write that historic wrong and give these communities the opportunity to develop economically and sustain themselves and give these folks a chance at the life that Americans all believe together that we deserve, we have to step up from the federal government standpoint and make those investments that weren’t made originally, and that is going to involve a serious commitment to more and more flexible dollars.
Antoine Walter: I don’t want to put you in a difficult position…
George McGraw: Nevermind, you’re the only one!
The Water Gap is an universal problem
Antoine Walter: I’m French, so I can afford that question, but you’ll tell me if it’s over the top. Do you expect the solution to come from the federal government, or is the solution maybe somewhere else? Maybe philanthropy, maybe blended capital?
George McGraw: A great question. Definitely not over the top. I will say also, now knowing you’re French; this is not just a problem in the US. It’s in other high-income countries as well. Most people know about it in Australia or in Canada, but it exists in France and in Germany, especially with displaced populations that are crossing the Mediterranean and coming into urban centers.
And living in DPO communities or places without access to infrastructure. I got a call from a French water utility a few years ago, I guess maybe a year ago now, who was looking at how they can solve this problem in French urban centers, which is surprising. I think most people think that these developed economies don’t have this problem, but we do.
The solution won’t come (only) from central governments
Okay, I digress. To your question.
No, I don’t think the impetus for solving this problem is going to come from the federal government. I don’t think the best ideas are gonna come from the federal government. That’s not what government does well, But I do think that the level of investment required does mean that the federal government needs to take the lead.
Okay. If we look at how this has worked in other countries. We have more than halved in the last few decades the number of people in the developing world who don’t have access to running water or sanitation. We were working toward the millennium development goals for a long time. Now we have these sustainable development goals, trying to get that number to zero, and we’ve been incredibly successful internationally, with a bunch of caveats.
Closing the Water Gap is a Half-Full / Half-Empty glass paradox
Antoine Walter: It’s interesting. You are on the optimistic side of the story.
George McGraw: I am. I think if you look at what the WASH sector has done in the last 60 years in terms of just like the sheer volume of people we’ve served with improved access to water and sanitation, it’s kind of miraculous!
Antoine Walter: It is. It’s just that if you look at the numbers, it’s a half-full and half-empty glass question. If you look at the half-empty glass, there’s still about the same amount of people who don’t have access to water, just because the population…
George McGraw: … grew up, yeah. Well, half-empty People don’t start nonprofits.
They don’t. So, fair point! But I’m a half-full person.
I’ll say that, like any success, I’ll caveat it by saying any success we’ve had there, whether you think of it as being tremendous or not, is really only because there is a well-organized sector made up of implementing organizations, their community partners, academia, nonprofits, philanthropy, in partnership with government that’s been driving this forward in the community.
They’ve been sharing data; they’ve been setting ambitious goals like, hey, this cluster of 30 organizations in partnership with our government officials in these ministries of health. Or you know, in these ministries of the interior, we’re going to cut in half the amount of people defecating in the open, in the Middle East and North Africa in the next 20 years, to give an example.
On the positive side, there is a new focus on WASH topics
We don’t have a civil sector focused on WASH in the US. And we never had. We are currently the only WASH organization focused on solving this problem in the US. We won’t be for long! I mean, other organizations, including many international WASH organizations, are coming back to the US and starting to make investments here, planning strategies, hiring staff.
And that’s really until the 150 or 200 organizations that all touch water and sanitation access in the US already can come together as a sector and start holding the government accountable. And start highlighting ideas like, you know, Colin Goddard’s, company Source, which is focused on atmospheric water generation in places where maybe traditional groundwater isn’t an option.
Or focusing on remediation of difficult contamination issues like arsenic or uranium or PFAS, or focused on innovative financing partnerships or public-private endeavors. We need a WASH sector, that is setting targets, sharing data, and holding the government accountable in partnership with those agencies.
And until we have that in the US, I don’t think we’ll close that gap because the government simply won’t be incentivized enough.
The missing link, bringing the government and stakeholders together
There needs to be a broker who is representing the interest of these marginalized communities, bringing them into these conversations, centering their needs, and making sure they get represented. Because we’re here speaking at this Rethinking Water Conference at Columbia. I bet if you were to pull the 400 people here today, you would be lucky to find five that are focused on the water wastewater access gap.
Everyone else here is focused on places that, for better or worse, already have access to water and sanitation and face issues like contamination, affordability, service degradation, and climate change. All really big issues! And we have to tackle them all to keep the gap from growing.
But there are so few that are focused on the gap exclusively, and that is working in a coordinated way to hold the government accountable.
Until that happens, I don’t think the federal government will be able to take the lead we need it to.
We need a streamlined catch phrase to gather the public opinion
Antoine Walter: Do you think at some point it’s it can be a problem that we have so many different agendas? I had a conversation on that microphone with Mina Guli. And she has a very simple theory, which is that somehow we now get the message across when it comes to climate change because we have one clear message: zero carbon.
Zero carbon? Everybody has heard it. You can’t pretend nowadays to never have heard the motto Zero carbon. When it comes to water, we don’t have that single metric for success. So she was proposing – quite interestingly, because it’s the same wording you were using – she was proposing closing the gap. And I do get it’s gonna be hard because the water sector is very diverse and very scattered, so you won’t have that one single flag for which everybody will rally and follow and walk and go the extra mile.
But still, is there a possibility to streamline that message so that everybody out there gets it? And understand that problem is everybody’s problem as a society?
Could the WASH sector get inspiration from the Airline Industry?
George McGraw: I was just with a colleague several days ago at RCAP, which is an incredible organization, and he was sort of bemoaning that in our sector, we’re not like the airlines where you have all of these companies who are in competition with each other, but still come together to do incredible policy work, right?
I mean, they’re completely aligned. Well, maybe not completely, but very aligned when it comes to what they want from the state and federal representatives. And so they get a lot done, and he was sort of bemoaning that we haven’t been able to do this as a sector. And the reality is that, similar to climate change; the water sector is not just one thing.
Like it is so much more complicated than running an airline. My apologies to the airline CEOs, I’m sure they won’t agree with me, but it really is. I mean, it’s availability, it’s contamination, it’s affordability, it’s built infrastructure, it’s natural infrastructure, it is climate, and it is agriculture, and it is industry, and it is human use.
A first step in the right direction: approaching it as One Water
And it’s all of these things at one. And so I think the US Water Alliance does a good job in their network of talking about this as One Water. Which has really been a game-changer for our sector over the past few years. That idea of: stop just meeting with the four or five organizations that work in your part of the sector.
Like we are one water and we need to be working together as a group. But I don’t think we have found that single metric of success yet. And I am obviously tremendously biased. Who isn’t. But I do think you’re right. I think that closing the gap, but more importantly, keeping it closed, has to be that metric of success.
Defining a metric for success in closing the Water Gap
If we can close the gap, we will have served those 2.2 million. If we can keep it closed, it means we will have solved the ways climate change is impacting our water and sanitation systems. It means we will have dealt with the affordability problem.
Especially for that third of American families that may not be able to afford their water bills in the coming decades.
It means we will have tackled difficult contaminants that are reducing the quality of what we’re delivering through our water systems or making them unusable in some cases. So I think if we focus on closing that gap and keeping it closed is the part I might add to that goal. We’ll be doing a great job. What better indicator do we have than that?
When will DigDeep consider it has achieved its mission?
Antoine Walter: I would’ve so many additional questions, and I have to be cautious of your time at some point. So let me just close with that one. You’re a half-full glass type of person. So what’s the horizon at which you can close DigDeep and say: “Job done, we achieved it”?
George McGraw: Oh man…
We have solved much more complicated problems than this as a country. I think the beauty of my job is that this is completely solvable, and I think with the right investment and focus, we could solve it in the next couple of decades.
We will bring water and wastewater to all in the next couple of decades
Give it 20 or 30 years, maybe. And believe me, that seems like long. If you live every day without access to water and sanitation, if you wake up every morning and your first thought isn’t, What am I doing at work? Or like, How am I gonna drive my kid from school to gymnastics to soccer?
Your thought is: How am I going to get enough clean water today for my family to survive? And maybe, maybe, I’m lucky enough to be able to drive to a store and buy it in a bottle. Maybe I have to drive to a truck stop or to school to take a shower at a family’s house.
Maybe I have to walk outside of my house with a bucket and pull it out of a livestock pond or a stream and boil it. If you live like that every day, 20 or 30 years is too long.
How will we close the water gap in practical steps?
But I do think that we can solve this problem in our lifetimes, and that does give a tremendous amount of optimism. Because we have solved more complicated problems than this!
It’s gonna take a coordinated response; It’s gonna take federal investment, understanding that when we do make that investment, it’s gonna achieve an incredible economic return for us. But I think that if there was a silver lining to the last few years, it was a really increased focus. The way some of these problems impact people in their daily lives.
Certainly, our renewed focus, as we’ve never seen at DigDeep on this issue. Yeah, I am optimistic! I fully intend, with the help of a lot of other people, to solve this problem in my lifetime.
If you’re listening to this and that interests you, join!
DigDeep is hiring; you can join the movement!
Antoine Walter: Are you actually looking for people to join you?
George McGraw: Yeah, absolutely. In this economy, we’re hiring a DigDeep. We’re actively looking for partners in that WASH space who want to help, convene other partners, and hold the government accountable. And build more of a networked approach to solving this problem.
We’re looking for philanthropic and private industry partners who want to invest in solutions on the ground in some of these communities.
Both, you know, simple technologies like trucking systems experiment with new technologies like atmospheric water generation. This work will only be possible through partnership.
Antoine Walter: To round off these interviews, I have just two short, rapid-fire questions.
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Rapid Fire Questions
Antoine Walter: What is the most exciting project you’ve been involved in and why?
Building a plumber’s army to deliver on the Water promise
George McGraw: This is a really easy thing for me. We just signed up our first student for a joint program that we launched with the IAPMO, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials. It is the largest plumbing and pipe fitting union in the US at Navajo Technical University.
On the Navajo Nation, which is the size of West Virginia, there are only a couple of licensed plumbers. And so there are all of these federal funds coming to reservation lands to build water systems. There’s all this work being done by DigDeep and others, but we have no one to draw on.
If you wanna hire a plumber on Navajo, if you’re just a simple house owner that has to get a pipe fixed, you often have to find someone. If you can convince them to drive from off-reservation to serve you and all of that money you’re investing in solving that problem is leaving your community.
And so we have this new plumbing certificate program with its own classroom and wet lab, and it’s really cool, and it will welcome the first class of Navajo Nation plumbers and pipe fitters who, with that certificate, can do that work on the nation.
Copy/Paste best practices in all the relevant fields
And those with that certificate are sort of guaranteed entry into apprenticeship programs through the UA that can get them a full license to practice plumbing on or off Navajo.
And I think programs like that, that meet these longer needs, you know, not just the immediate need of water infrastructure, but the longer and sometimes harder to solve the need of manpower and brain power. They’re really fun and really interesting to me! Cause I mean, you see the capacity for them to build economic wealth in some of these areas.
To give people generational businesses that they can build their families and communities around. I think, yeah, that has been a lot of fun to watch.
Antoine Walter: Last question, what is the trend to watch out for in the water sector?
The trend for federal investment in water infrastructure
George McGraw: I think the trend currently to watch out for in the water sector is federal investment.
There has never been more money available, and it’s certainly not nearly enough to meet the need. Not only. The needs of the folks that don’t have access to infrastructure now, but also the existing need to maintain the infrastructure. We see investment; it’s not enough, but it is the biggest investment in history, and I think we would all do well to keep our eyes on the way that investment is getting pushed out the door. Whether it’s making it to the folks that needed the most.
Are they getting the assistance they need to apply for it? Is it being provided to them the way it was promised, more as grants and as loans? I think the proof will be in the pudding there. There is an incredible commitment to solving this and other water-related problems, but it really will depend on the strength of some of these programs to reach people that even the most, and we all need to keep our eye on that prize.
Antoine Walter: Well, George, I had high expectations, and you delivered higher than expected.
George McGraw: Thanks a lot, my mother would be proud!
Antoine Walter: I hope we will have the chance in the future to dive a bit deeper with you. I mean, DigDeep, dig deeper, this sounds about right. I wish you a good rest of the conference!
George McGraw: Thank you, Antoine.
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