water rates

Low Water Rates, Are they good or bad for Consumers?

water rates

It’s no secret that the aging US water infrastructure requires significant modernization. Many of the approximately 1 million miles of pipe systems delivering water to homes and businesses in the US were built post-World War II with an average lifespan of 75 to 100 years, according to the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card. That aging infrastructure is wasting 2 trillion gallons of treated drinking water resulting from about 240,000 water main breaks each year, the report indicates.

In 2014, Congress authorized a federal credit program administered by the EPA to fund vital water and wastewater infrastructure improvements, known as the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act. In response to a notice of fund availability, the program received 43 letters of interest from water districts, utilities and entire cities and counties highlighting needed improvements to water infrastructure totaling about $12 billion. As WIFIA offers up to 49 percent of project costs, an additional $6 billion is needed from local agencies, private enterprise and private-public partnerships.

While that may seem like a hefty sum, it pales in comparison to the $1 trillion the American Water Works Association estimates it will take to maintain and improve water infrastructure in the US in the next 25 years.

 

Read more at Environmental Leader by clicking here