Value of Water — MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott speaks at Congressional Hearing

tony parrott d.c.
March 22, 2017

Washington, DC, March 22, 2017—The Value of Water Campaign today released an economic impact analysis it commissioned to understand how investments in the nation’s water infrastructure affects economic growth and employment. The report release coincides with World Water Day and Water Week, global and national efforts to draw attention to the need to invest in water infrastructure. The report, "The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure" will be shared for the first time today, World Water Day, at a briefing on Capitol Hill.

As part of World Water Day, MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott takes the message of "Economic Opportunity of Investing in Water Infrastructure" to the nations capital today.

Utility Infrastructure is foundational to Louisville’s continued transformation to become a Resilient City. Projects totaling $6 billion are planned for Louisville Metro—new transportation infrastructure, hotels, convention center, businesses and attractions. "We believe the public health and safety systems that MSD provides are an essential foundation to support that transformation. In fact, it is fair to say that Louisville’s prosperity depends on effective and reliable wastewater, stormwater and flood protection systems," said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott.

Some of Louisville’s sanitary sewer system predates the Civil War. The oldest sections of our system are in our most densely populated and critical economic areas. Most of the area within the Watterson Expressway has wastewater, stormwater and flood protection infrastructure—built when Louisville had a population of only 68,000—that is 150 to 51 years old.

MSD has developed a comprehensive 20-year plan to address these issues, and it comes with a price tag of $4.3 billion dollars to bring our infrastructure up to a passing grade. Additionally, we are still committed to spend $900 million to support our existing federal Consent Decree to reduce the amount of sewage entering our waterways. March 22, 2017

Now it the time to rebuild

"As a community we must decide how important the risks are to the health and safety of our community and how fast we want to address the problems. It is no longer a matter of IF we will address these issues, but how FAST do we address them," stated Parrott. It is estimated for every $1 we spend on infrastructure as much as $2.62 economic benefit comes back to the community.

You can join the local conversation—view the risks, the plan to address the issues and leave your comments at

Key takeaways of the national report:

  • Closing the water infrastructure investment gap would result in $220 billion in economic activity and result in 1.3 million jobs.
  • A one-day disruption in water service would cost $43.5 billion in sales and $22.5 billion in GDP.
  • An eight-day disruption would shrink the annual GDP by one percentage.
  • The federal government’s contribution to water infrastructure has fallen to nine percent, down from more than 60 percent 40 years ago.

Read the full national report at