Linking Water to Economic Development

Kentucky legislator highlights the General Assembly’s Focus at statewide event

Water is the anchor for a community’s quality of life and its economic success. A Kentucky legislator recently endorsed the value of water to more than 700 Kentucky water professionals.

Jason PetrieRep. Jason Petrie of Hopkinsville spoke to attendees at the 44th Annual Kentucky Rural Water Conference in Louisville. The event brings together water providers from across the state to exchange ideas and best practices.

Rep. Petrie was one of several state leaders who spoke at the conference and wasted no time in talking about the value he sees with investing in water infrastructure. Petrie has worked with representatives from Louisville Water and other water utilities to secure much-needed funding for water infrastructure throughout Kentucky. Between 2017 and 2021, the Kentucky General Assembly has made water and water infrastructure a priority, allocating $381 million for water projects.

“We, as lawmakers, chose water with serious dollars,” Petrie said.

Kentucky’s impressive economic growth in recent years is due in part to the state’s investment in its water infrastructure. In his remarks, Petrie said the world’s most important natural resource is often taken for granted when it comes to discussions about economic development – but that it is lawmakers’ job to ensure that cities and counties have access to the water they need to bring in new business.

“If a business is looking to move to a city or to grow, they need to know where the water’s coming from,” Petrie said. “People assume water is there, but you have to make sure it’s there.”

Water Grows Ky logoUltimately, it’s clear that communities cannot thrive without reliable infrastructure. When it comes to infrastructure, Petrie believes roads, water and electric are most important as leaders across Kentucky strive to bring more business and opportunity to the Commonwealth.

“If water is such a fundamental thing, then we should put a premium effort on planning for it.”

Water grows Kentucky’s largest industries, helping fuel more than 1.1 million jobs in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education and distilling and brewing.

Click here to learn more about the Kentucky Rural Water Conference, and click here to learn more about water’s vital role in shaping Kentucky’s economy.