The Word on WRDA

November 8, 2018
ASCE Executive Director Tom Smith. PHOTO: Jason Dixson Photography

Our nation’s infrastructure suffers from a lack of funding, and this jeopardizes the safety of our communities. While civil engineers have the expertise and tools to address major challenges associated with ports, dams, drinking water, inland waterways, levees, and wastewater, solutions to these challenges require investment.

Throughout 2018, ASCE members and staff advocated for improvement in all 16 infrastructure categories, including water-related categories. Over 210 members advocated for the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) at the 2018 Legislative Fly-In in March; ASCE 2018 President Kristina Swallow testified before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee in May; and more than 1,600 emails were sent to over 320 congressional offices. On Oct. 23, President Trump signed WRDA 2018 into law, showing that our efforts had paid off.

ASCE President, Kristina Swallow, testifies before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Wednesday May 9, 2018. Image Source: John Harrington Photography

The bill features many provisions that ASCE has championed:

• Reauthorization of the National Levee Safety Program and the National Dam Safety Program
• Authorization of the Securing Required Funds for Water Infrastructure Now (SRF WIN) Act
• Reauthorization of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) successful Water Infrastructure Financing and Innovation Act (WIFIA)
• Reauthorization of the Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Fund

These infrastructure assets play a crucial role in the nation’s economy, public safety, and the preservation of our environmental resources. Our levees, dams, inland waterways, and ports protect hundreds of communities, support millions of American jobs, and generate trillions of dollars of economic activity. As detailed in ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, many of these infrastructure assets have reached the end of their design life. WRDA 2018 will help tackle our nation’s growing infrastructure investment gap, so that we can repair and modernize our water resources systems to be competitive in the 21st century.

In case you missed them, here are some other ways we are working for you:

A new Member Advantages program helps you save on great vacations

Dust off your passport and start packing your bags. ASCE’s newest Member Advantages partner is AHI Travel, offering journeys to hundreds of destinations. Plan your next trip.

Enliven a meeting with Dream Big: Engineering Our World

Suggest to your boss, or to local Section or Branch leaders, that the next meeting include ASCE’s inspiring film Dream Big: Engineering Our World. Its 42-minute length makes it great for a viewing party. See where it’s being screened or stream it on Netflix.

Your #GivingTuesday gift will help young upcoming leaders

This year, #GivingTuesday donations will help the Foundation support the 2019 Younger Membership Leadership Symposium. Help the Foundation reach its goal and make a #GivingTuesday donation.

Engage your peers at the new ASCE Collaborate

Do you have work-related questions, either about your career or about help you need on a project, that fellow members could answer? Could you answer others’ such questions? Join in discussions with members around the world.

Give the gift of bridges this holiday season

Bridges 2019 is the must-have wall calendar for bridge enthusiasts that celebrates the combination of art and architecture, the cornerstone of great engineering. Order yours in time for the holidays.

Nominate your Section/Branch for the History & Heritage Citation

Has your Section or Branch staged local history and heritage events? Has it promoted local landmarks or celebrated an anniversary? Encourage your local ASCE group to submit a nomination for a History and Heritage Citation. Download a nomination form and return it by Nov. 30. Contact ASCE’s Jennifer Lawrence at 703-295-6255 or jlawrence@asce.org with any questions.

Renew for 2019 and you could win big

Act now to ensure your ASCE membership rolls through 2019 and you could win Amazon.com gift cards or, if you’re an international member, your year’s membership is free. Keep your Society benefits intact – renew today.

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