We use cell phones as powerful as personal computers and drive vehicles more safe and efficient than ever before in history, but the water infrastructure at the backbone of our nation dates back to the days of rotary phones or even the Model T in many areas.
These pipes and systems don't stand out like an antique car on the highway, but beneath the ground many systems are failing and need attention. Most of the 2.8 million miles of pipe in need of repair and replacement was made to last 50-75 years and has already exceeded its lifespan. It's estimated that up to one trillion dollars is needed over the next twenty years to replace this aging infrastructure.
The American Society of Civil Engineers 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure gave a dismal score of D- to both our nation's drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
Investing in infrastructure does more than repair broken pipes and fix leaks. It improves the quality of service and helps conserve essential resources. It also benefits communities and businesses by helping to ensure a reliable water supply. The cost of investing in infrastructure is great, but so is the cost of letting failing systems further deteriorate.
To learn more about infrastructure investment and how our members are investing in the communities they serve, click here.
For information on the NAWC-sponsored documentary "Liquid Assets" which tells the story of essential infrastructure systems — drinking water, wastewater and stormwater — in need of costly repairs, click here.