May 20, 2016

American Water CEO Co-Presents New Model for Infrastructure Investment

Bipartisan Policy Center’s executive council on infrastructure lays out vision for increasing public-private partnerships and private capital

investment, model, culture, report, vision, future, water, infrastructure

To help address the $2 trillion in infrastructure needs facing the country, a group of leading CEOs and former elected officials released a report calling for a major culture change in how the U.S. funds infrastructure projects.

The report, “Bridging the Gap Together: A New Model to Modernize U.S. Infrastructure,” authored by the Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) executive council on infrastructure, laid out a vision for increasing public-private partnerships and private capital in projects like water and wastewater systems, energy grids, ports, roads and bridges, and provided a mean to overcome discouraging private investment barriers.

A public event launched the council’s report Monday, May 16. The co-chairs of the BPC’s executive council on infrastructure, Susan Story, president and CEO of American Water, and Doug Peterson, president and CEO of S&P Global, presented the council’s recommendations with by a panel discussion among council and advisory group members in attendance. The panel was moderated by Congressman Steve Bartlett and, in addition to Story and Peterson, includes Henry Cisneros, former HUD secretary and mayor of San Antonio; Jane Garvey, North America Chair of Meridiam; and Antonio Villaraigosa, former mayor of Los Angeles. Eric Cantor, vice chairman and managing director of Moelis & Co. and Former House Majority Leader, delivered closing remarks.

“The success of this effort is particularly important to American Water as we know that safe, clean, reliable and affordable water services are the foundation for every community,” Story said. “We hope this report will result in a new way to invest in infrastructure, one in which the public and private sectors work together to make a transformative impact on our nation’s infrastructure, create millions of jobs, maintain the health, safety and security of our communities, and put our nation on track for decades of greater prosperity.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, failure to make necessary investments in infrastructure may lead to $206 billion in increased costs for businesses and households between 2011 and 2020. And while state laws enabling public-private partnerships are an essential building block to expanding private investment in infrastructure, very few regulations comprehensively allow a full range of partnerships.

“The core principles and actions proposed in the council’s report, coupled with new funding sources and financial tools, will lead to more modern, higher-quality, and more resilient infrastructure networks,” Story added.

  • To advance this effort, BPC executive council leaders and staff commit to:
  • Apply a new model for investing in infrastructure to the national challenges in water and wastewater infrastructure;
  • Support state and local officials in passing P3 legislation;
  • Provide guidelines for developing and evaluating state and local asset inventories; and
  • Aid in the development of a central clearinghouse for information and technical assistance on P3s.

The report was released as part of Infrastructure Week, a national week of events, education and advocacy efforts to elevate infrastructure as a critical issue impacting all Americans.