Aging Water Infrastructure Carries Huge Costs

With America's water infrastructure graded as a D-minus by the American Society of Civil Engineers, officials are recognizing the need to upgrade the system. A $6 billion infusion by the federal government, though, is just a drop in the bucket.
November 1, 2010, 5am PDT | Nate Berg
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that it will cost about $335 billion to fix all of the nation's water infrastructure problems.

"[S]ome U.S. cities have been forced to privatize their water supplies. The shift enables officials to offload huge maintenance costs while promising jobs. But the colossal nature of water infrastructure lends itself to monopolization, and because water systems are underground they're difficult for governments to monitor. In fact, Newsweek reports, some cities have grown so dismayed with privatized water that they've engaged in costly litigation to cancel the contracts.

The public may finally be ready to shoulder some of the burden. The results of a new survey, released earlier this week by ITT Corporation, suggest that people are willing to pay a little more-just a little-to keep the country's water pipes from crumbling."

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Published on Friday, October 29, 2010 in Infrastructurist
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