The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released the fifth edition of its Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment. In the report, which was last updated in 2007, California’s water infrastructure needs increased from $44.2 billion to $44.5 billion. In terms of need, California topped all other states, and needs more than $10 billion more than Texas, $22 billion more than New York.
EPA’s fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment identifies investments needed over the next 20 years for thousands of miles of pipes and thousands of treatment plants, storage tanks and water distribution systems, which are all vital to public health and the economy. The national total of $384 billion includes the needs of 73,400 water systems across the country. Nine states had more than $10 billion in needs.
“A safe and adequate supply of drinking water in our homes, schools and businesses is essential to the health and prosperity of every American,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe in a statement that accompanied the release of the survey. “The survey EPA released today shows that the nation’s water systems have entered a rehabilitation and replacement era in which much of the existing infrastructure has reached or is approaching the end of its useful life. This is a major issue that must be addressed so that American families continue to have the access they need to clean and healthy water sources.”
In many cases, drinking water infrastructure was reported to be 50-100 years old.
California’s needs are dominated by the cost of improving drinking water transmission, accounting for roughly $26.7 billion. Treatment accounted for $8.4 billion; storage needs totaled $6.4 billion.
The survey provides a snapshot of each state, using a sample of water systems from each state. In California, we have 687 medium- and large- independent water systems. The report sampled 169 of those.
Read the full report at the EPA’s Website.