EPA sends Congress 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey

Sept. 11, 2023
The latest Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment determines that U.S. public water systems need an infrastructure investment of $625 billion.

The U.S. EPA has sent the 7th Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment  (DWINSA) to Congress to support the allocation of federal funding for states’ water infrastructure.

The 7th DWINSA report for Congress breaks the survey’s findings down into five sections: traditional state infrastructure needs; state and U.S. territory lead service line counts; workforce survey response; iron and steel construction materials; and Tribal water system traditional infrastructure needs.

The survey assesses U.S. public water systems’ needs over the next 20 years. It is used in the allocation of Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) grants to states.

The 7th DWINSA determined that U.S. drinking water systems would need $625 billion for its infrastructure needs, including pipe replacement, treatment plant upgrades, storage tanks, and more.

Split between different types of community water systems (CWS), the survey’s identified infrastructure need is as follows. Small CWS need $100.1 billion, representing 16% of the funding gap. Medium CWS need $273.1 billion — 44% of the identified need, the largest portion identified. Large CWS need $235.2 billion, making up 37% of the funding needs. Not-for-profit non-community water systems needed only $16.6 billion, representing the smallest share of 3%.

The funding needs in the survey were also identified according to separate categories. By far the largest share of funding needs was the Distribution/Transmission category, needing $420.8 billion — representing roughly 67% of the total funding needs. The next largest category was Treatment, needing $106.4 billion — roughly 17%.

The influence of Distribution/Transmission on the report’s estimated needs is largely affected by EPA’s efforts toward lead service line replacement.

About the Author

Jeremy Wolfe

Jeremy Wolfe is an Editor for WaterWorld magazine. Email him at [email protected].