AWWA highlights need to rebuild and improve nation's water infrastructure

As North America celebrates National Drinking Water Week, AWWA highlighted the importance of reinforcing, rebuilding, and replacing the nation's aging water infrastructure.


DENVER, May 8, 2003 -- As North America celebrates National Drinking Water Week, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) highlighted the importance of reinforcing, rebuilding, and replacing the nation's aging water infrastructure.

The results of a national study conducted by AWWA on the nation's drinking water infrastructure found that the nation must invest an additional $250 billion to replace aging infrastructure over the next 30 years.

"Renewing the nation's water infrastructure is vital in order to ensure the future quality and quantity of drinking water supplies," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "Most utilities in the country will be confronting replacement needs in the next several decades, and we need to be prepared to meet these needs."

The American drinking water infrastructure network spans more than 700,000 miles, more than four times longer than the National Highway System. Construction techniques and materials used for drinking water pipe have changed over the years, and pipes from different eras have different life spans and different replacement requirements. As a result of these differences, a convergence of replacement needs is approaching as pipes laid a century ago, in the 1920s, and the post-World War II era all need to be replaced over a relatively short period of time.

Much of the investment by utilities is driven by federal mandates. Unfortunately, the current federal commitment to help pay for drinking water mandates amounts to less than 10 percent of the current utility spending.

Learn more about drinking water and how you can help celebrate National Drinking Water Week by visiting AWWA online.

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of drinking water in North America and beyond. AWWA is the largest organization of water professionals in the world. AWWA advances public health, safety and welfare by uniting the efforts of the full spectrum of the drinking water community. Through our collective strength we become better stewards of water for the greatest good of the people and the environment.

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