WASHINGTON– Rogers resident Mike Frazee testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife today during a hearing to address problems with America’s water infrastructure system and possible funding and financing investment solutions.
U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) is chairman of the subcommittee and invited Frazee to share his experience living with no access to safe, reliable drinking water when he moved to northwest Arkansas in 1990.
Frazee testified that after his family reached out to Boozman’s office in 2014, they were connected with the Water Systems Council which worked with Frazee to drill wells that brought efficient, fresh drinking water to him and his neighbors’ homes. Since then, Frazee has been an advocate in his community regarding expanding access to drinking water to rural areas.
Boozman welcomed Frazee to the subcommittee and thanked him his for his willingness to share his story.
“Given Mike Frazee’s personal experience, I cannot think of anyone better to testify,” Boozman said. “After getting access to reliable drinking water, whenever he sees someone hauling water for lack of access to a well or public water system, he stops them and tells them about the options that are available for assistance. Mike’s story is similar to so many others in Arkansas and across the country, which is why we are pushing for needed water infrastructure upgrades.”
Frazee offered opening testimony to the subcommittee followed by questions and answers from other members.
“It is my hope that through telling the story of my family’s struggle to secure safe, reliable, drinking water that Congress will put in place policies that will bring affordable drinking water to thousands of Arkansans and millions of Americans who live in our nation’s rural areas,” Frazee said. “Providing rural communities with the resources to install wells and well systems may be the single most important form of assistance our government can provide.”
At the conclusion of his opening statement, Frazee shared a portion of this video documenting the Well Water Trust’s efforts to ensure that safe, affordable drinking water is accessible which has transformed the lives of his neighbors in Arkansas.
The hearing was an opportunity to consider options for addressing the growing drinking and wastewater infrastructure needs across America and to review innovative financing and funding approaches. The subcommittee hearing is part of a broader ongoing effort to educate members and the public in the run-up to a possible infrastructure bill.