Environment Michigan releases research reports on a regular basis to inform people about a wide range of environmental issues. Last week we released “A Path to Cleaner Water: How investments in America’s Water Infrastructure are Protecting Waterways”. It explains how investment in our water infrastructure would result in a lot less pollution in our rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Michigan’s water infrastructure, the network of pipes and facilities that get clean drinking water to peoples’ homes, and process waste water before releasing it back into nature, suffers from a lack of investment in maintenance and needed upgrades. 

When you see news reports about combined sewer overflows, where partially treated sewer water flows into our lakes and rivers, you’re looking at something fixable by investing in our infrastructure. That pollution makes our beaches unsafe and feeds blooms of toxic algae. It’s absurd that the Great Lakes State lags in infrastructure investment.

One thing the report highlights is the ability of green infrastructure to help solve these problems. It’s a cost effective, resilient option that often works better for some water issues than simply building more concrete channels and pipes to move water from one place to another. Some communities in Michigan are investing in green infrastructure, and others should take note.

Finally, the report highlights the bipartisan nature of these investments. The benefits of protecting our waters resonate with people across the political spectrum. We’re pushing for these investments in Lansing and Washington, D.C. because we’re passionate about clean water, and we know a lot of Michiganders are too.