A new report by the American Water Works Association has determined that the aging infrastructure of most of America’s water system is going to need to be replaced soon, at a cost of more than $1 trillion dollars if done to accommodate the general population until 2035. Should the upgrades take into consideration population growth and redistribution through the year 2050, nearly $2 trillion dollars will be needed for these repairs and upgrades.
Shifting populations and significant growth in certain areas of the country will require larger networks, also increasing the costs to consumers. Most areas will see prices double or triple over the ensuing years to cover the costs of these upgrades. Increases in development fees will also be necessary to cover these costs, but the primary funding will come through water bill increases to the primary consumer.
The American Water Works Association issued this warning more than ten years ago, through its report Dawn of the Replacement Era. The original report only examined 20 water systems, while their latest report included the entire United States. In addition to drinking water piping, however, the EPA has stated in its most recent analysis that the wastewater and stormwater system investments will need to be as significant as the drinking water investments over the coming years. These upgrades also come on top of other needed investments in each community, such as schools, streets, and other public utilities.
Should communities delay these upgrades, then Americans as a whole will see deteriorating water service, increasing pipe breakage, and more spent in repairs than replacement.
The cost to the consumer will hit those areas of smaller systems the hardest. Small rural water associations in the South and the West will be impacted the most, with costs tripling from where they are today. Smaller water associations simply don’t have the numbers of people needed to lessen the impact on each individual family.
The coming years are going to be a struggle for the average American family. As long as public utilities and government pencil pushes can simply shove off the costs of everything onto the back of the American taxpayers, nothing will change. The time is rapidly approaching when these bureaucrats are going to have to acknowledge the limited money available from the American taxpayers. Slapping Band-Aids on needed utilities while our politicians throw money away left and right must become a thing of the past.
The American people should demand no less.
©2012 Off the Grid News