The current model of cybersecurity is outdated. Adversaries
continue to grow more sophisticated and outpace advancements in defense
technologies, processes, and education. As nation states enter into a new
period of great power competition, the deficiencies in current cybersecurity
practice, evidenced by the growing number of successful cyber-attacks from
Russia, China, North Korea, and others, pose a greater threat.
The need to update the cybersecurity model is clear. An
enhanced public-private model – based on coordinated, advanced protection and
resilience – is necessary to protect key critical infrastructure sectors. In
addition, enhanced action from the federal government, coupled with increased
formal cooperation with international allies, are necessary to ensure
comprehensive cybersecurity resilience. [Note: contains copyrighted
The principal federal program to aid municipal wastewater
treatment plant construction is authorized in the Clean Water Act (CWA).
Established as a grant program in 1972, it now capitalizes state loan programs
through the clean water state revolving loan fund (CWSRF) program. Since
FY1972, appropriations have totaled $98 billion. In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking
Water Act (SDWA, P.L. 104-182) to authorize a similar state loan program for
drinking water to help systems finance projects needed to comply with drinking
water regulations and to protect public health. Since FY1997, appropriations
for the drinking water state revolving loan fund (DWSRF) program have totaled
$23 billion. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers both
SRF programs, which annually distribute funds to the states for implementation.
Funding amounts are specified in the State and Tribal Assistance Grants (STAG)
account of EPA annual appropriations acts. The combined appropriations for
wastewater and drinking water infrastructure assistance have represented
25%-32% of total funds appropriated to EPA in recent years.
Over the next 15 years, more hard infrastructure is
projected to be built around the world than currently exists. This global
build-out is already underway, and the changes it brings will only accelerate.
Infrastructure projects, especially in the transport, energy, information and
communications technology (ICT), and water sectors, have long been recognized
as the backbone of modern economies. Going forward, emerging digital
infrastructure, including fifth-generation (5G) networks, remote sensing, and
other advanced technologies, will be especially critical. As our infrastructure
is transformed, so will be the economies it fuels, the regions it connects, and
the global commons it underpins. These trends are too powerful and potentially
beneficial for the United States to stop, and too consequential to ignore. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Climate change is getting harder to ignore, from alarming
new reports about its impacts to debates around a Green New Deal. Yet for all
this attention, individual places—from the biggest cities to the smallest
towns—are still struggling to do something about it.
An unpredictable climate should serve as a strong motivator
for every community to better maintain its manmade and natural stormwater
infrastructure to be more flexible and responsive. Increased flood risks are
among the clearest challenges, with climate change already having generated
billions of dollars in flooding costs. But as we saw in Houston during
Hurricane Harvey—and in several other places along the Gulf Coast, Mississippi
River, and beyond over the past few years—many communities currently have
failing systems of water pipes, plants, and natural wetlands. Even more
troubling is how communities cannot even handle runoff from daily rainfall, as
well as additional pollution.
Communities need a new approach to accelerate investment in infrastructure that is resilient to growing climate pressures. They should carry out proactive repairs of their aging, inefficient stormwater systems as a way to deliver fiscal savings and long-term environmental and economic benefits. They also should invest in new technologies and green infrastructure to better protect properties and improve livability. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Driving is one of the riskiest activities the average American engages in. Deaths and serious injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of preventable deaths. In 2017, 37,133 people were killed in police-reported motor vehicle crashes in the United States, and in 2016 an estimated 3.14 million people were injured.1 Many of the people who die in traffic crashes are relatively young and otherwise healthy (motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 17 and 23).2 As a result, while traffic crashes are now the 13th leading cause of death overall, they rank seventh among causes of years of life lost (i.e., the difference between the age at death and life expectancy).3 In addition to the emotional toll exacted by these deaths and injuries, traffic crashes impose a significant economic toll. The Department of Transportation (DOT) estimated that the annual cost of motor vehicle crashes in 2010 was $242 billion in direct costs and $836 billion when the impact on quality of life of those killed and injured was included.4 About one-third of the direct cost came from the lost productivity of those killed and injured; about one-third from property damage; 10% from present and future medical costs; 12% from time lost due to congestion caused by crashes; and the remainder from the costs of insurance administration, legal services, workplace costs,5 and emergency services.
Recent flood disasters have raised congressional and public interest in not only reducing flood risks, but also improving flood resilience, which is the ability to adapt to, withstand, and rapidly recover from floods. In the United States, flood-related responsibilities are shared. States and local governments have significant discretion in land use and development decisions, which can be major factors in determining the vulnerability to and consequence of hurricanes, storms, extreme rainfall, and other flood events. Congress has established various federal programs that may be available to assist U.S. state, local, and territorial entities and tribes in reducing flood risks. Among the most significant federal activities to reduce communities’ flood risks and improve flood resilience are assistance with infrastructure projects (e.g., levees, shore protection) and other flood mitigation activities that save lives and reduce property damage; and mitigation incentives for communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
The Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) is the federal authority for regulating contaminants in public water supplies. The act includes the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) program, established in 1996 to help public water systems finance infrastructure projects needed to comply with federal drinking water regulations and to meet the act’s health protection objectives. Under this program, states receive annual capitalization grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to provide financial assistance (primarily subsidized loans) to public water systems for drinking water projects and other specified activities. Through FY2018, Congress has appropriated a total of $20.41 billion for the program. From FY1997 through FY2017, states provided $35.38 billion in DWSRF assistance to water systems for 14,090 projects.