Mayors' water survey cites catastrophic events, severe water shortage in 20 years

Topic to be raised at U.S. Conference of Mayors' Urban Water Summit set for Sept. 30-Oct. 1 in Albuquerque, N.M. Results of National Urban Water Resources Survey to be released at a press conference 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30...

ALBUQUERQUE, Sept. 29, 2005 -- On the heels of two devastating hurricanes, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, led by conference president Long Beach, Calif., Mayor Beverly O'Neill, and Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, chair of the Conference of Mayors Urban Water Council, will release the findings of a National Urban Water Resources Survey during a press conference in Albuquerque on Sept. 30 at 12:30 p.m. (MST) at the Hyatt Regency. This is during its Urban Water Summit, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, in Albuquerque.

The survey of 414 cities sounds the alarm on "everyday" infrastructure problems as well as catastrophic events. It shows that "everyday" issues like maintaining, replacing and building water infrastructure remain critical challenges for cities. Although cities have been extremely active in committing their own funds to major capital investments in water and wastewater infrastructure, there is still a tremendous need for additional infrastructure investment.

Mayors are also concerned about protecting people and property from catastrophic events like natural disasters including floods, storms and hurricanes. Other priorities include protecting the water systems from terrorist threats.

Most alarming is a city's inability to ensure adequate water supply. Nearly 40% of the cities surveyed will not have adequate water supply in 20 years.

"Hurricanes Katrina and Rita make apparent the devastating impact that water can have on a community. We have seen first- hand how water can wipe out entire communities," O'Neill said. "That is why this water survey is invaluable because it tells us what cities really need."

The final results of this Water Survey will be available on the U.S. Conference of Mayors website on Nov. 1, 2005.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. For more information on this topic, see: www.usmayors.org/uscm/urbanwater/.

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