This editorial letter originally appeared in Storm Water Solutions January 2022 issue.
Well, the votes are in.
Out of the 147 people who took our 2021 State of the Industry survey, the majority, at 35.37%, said 2021 was “average.” This does line up with results from our 2020 survey when the majority of survey respondents, 43.17%, said they anticipated 2021 to be average. Fortunately, in our 2021 survey, the majority of respondents said they anticipate 2022 to be “good.”
By this time, we’ve all heard it a thousand times, at the end of 2021, we got big news. The Infrastructure & Investment Jobs Act was signed into law on November 15. Of the $550 billion in new spending that comes with the bill, $55 billion is allocated to drinking water, wastewater and storm water infrastructure funding.
In the same vein, we asked respondents in open-ended questions what their greatest challenges and most important industry topics would be in the next 24 months. Resoundingly, respondents answered regulations, permitting, staffing and funding among others. It’s as if the industry is taking a collective breath, waiting to see how this funding will trickle down. It is not often the storm water industry gets recognition, but we’re getting there.
Which is why the State of the Industry survey is so valuable to us. It’s a useful tool to the SWS team so we can be sure we’re covering the right topics in the right way. In addition to asking about the challenges and important topics, we gauge what products, services and resources are most valuable to readers as well. For the full list of results, please check out our State of the Industry report starting on page 20. Along with the results is an accompanying wrap-up where I share insights from two industry professionals as they reflect on 2021 and where the industry is headed this year.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] with any questions, topics you want to see covered or how you think potential funding will impact your work.