Water Infrastructure

What You Need to Know

America's inland waterways move approximately 20 percent of the coal for utility plants, 22 percent of domestic petroleum products and over 50 percent of the nation's grain and oilseed.

Manufacturers rely on this system of inland and coastal waterways to efficiently move freight.

The viability of the nation's waterway system is seriously challenged by aging locks and decades-old infrastructure, resulting in major delays that significantly raise costs and hamper the ability of manufacturers to grow their businesses and create jobs.

The NAM supports funding inland waterways at levels authorized by Congress, and believes a 20-year capital plan should guide future investments and improve project delivery. The NAM also advocates new financing approaches and a strengthened partnership between waterway users and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Press Releases

  • 02/21/2015
    Manufacturers: Ports Agreement Staves Off Economic Disaster
    NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons released this statement on the contract agreement between the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).
  • 10/23/2013
    Manufacturers Support Passage of Water Resources Reform and Development Act
    Washington, D.C., October 23, 2013 - National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued a statement in support of H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013.
  • 05/14/2013
    Manufacturers: Ports and Waterways in Critical Need of Repair
    National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Senior Vice President of Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued the following statement urging support for the Water Resources Development Act of 2013 (WRDA) under consideration in the Senate: –Manufacturers rely on our nation's ports and inland waterways to transport goods from finished products to the most basic inputs and commodities. By efficiently moving these products, manufacturers can better compete in the global marketplace. However, many aging locks and the inland waterways system have outlived their intended lifespan and are now causing system disruptions and inefficiencies–driving up transportation costs and hurting our competitiveness.