The cost of repairing and expanding U.S. drinking water infrastructure will top $1 trillion in the next 25 years, an expense that likely will be met primarily through higher water bills and local fees, a groundbreaking study by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) shows.
According to Water & Wastes Digest, the report analyzes many factors, including timing of water main installation and life expectancy, materials used, replacement costs and shifting demographics. Nationally, the infrastructure needs are almost evenly divided between replacement and expansion requirements.
The needs are large: Investment needs for buried drinking water infrastructure total more than $1 trillion nationwide over the next 25 years if pipes are replaced at the end of their useful lives. Through 2050, these needs exceed $1.7 trillion. Replacement needs account for about 54% of the national total, with the balance attributable to population changes over that period.
Source: Water & Wastes Digest