Xylem survey reveals water is top infrastructure priority for New Yorkers
A majority of New Yorkers believe upgrading water and wastewater systems should be the main infrastructure focus for the city.
WHITE PLAINS, NY, April 1, 2013 -- A majority of New Yorkers, 82 percent, believe upgrading water and wastewater systems should be the main infrastructure focus for the city; two-thirds are willing to pay higher rates to see this happen. These findings were part of the 2012 Value of Water Index, a national survey on Americans' perceptions of water, and were released today by Xylem Inc. (XYL), a leading global water technology company.
- 70 percent of New Yorkers believe the U.S. water infrastructure system needs major reform or a complete overhaul.
- 63 percent of New Yorkers are willing to pay an average of $8.30 more per month to finance water infrastructure upgrades. This would mean approximately $188 million more per year for the city’s water infrastructure.
- Nearly all New Yorkers, 91 percent, are concerned about our nation’s water infrastructure.
- More than three-quarters of New Yorkers, 77 percent, would demand policymakers take action to address this issue, compared with 57 percent nationally.
"We launched the 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index to determine exactly what people think about water and what they are willing to do to ensure access to this vital resource," said Gretchen McClain, Xylem president and CEO. "The New York data shows that New Yorkers are even more concerned about water infrastructure issues than the rest of the country, and they're willing to do more to address the issue, and this is great news for the city's water."
New York City, through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has made significant investments in water infrastructure projects. Xylem recognizes and applauds this foresight, but New Yorkers still have cause for concern: city water systems are 150 years old, making them some of the oldest in the world. With an average daily demand of 1.2 billion gallons, they are also some of the largest. This combination of age and demand is straining the ability of these systems to function properly. In 2008, the New York State Department of Health estimated New York City's 20-year capital needs to be more than $28 billion, nearly 75 percent of the estimate for the entire state ($38.7 billion).
Part of the reason for this funding gap is that despite increasing rates in many parts of the country, including New York, most Americans pay artificially low rates for their water, which obscures the value of water while discouraging conservation. As a result, water utilities, even when they get funding to fix specific problems, are starved of the resources they need to enact long-term plans to modernize pipes and treatment systems -- and New Yorkers and Americans alike suffer. Xylem believes that the best way to ensure a steady, reliable supply of clean water to New York, and other communities across America, is by fostering a sustainable model for water utilities, which by definition is predicated on fair water pricing.
The Water Environment Federation estimates that $1 billion invested in water and wastewater infrastructure can create more than 26,000 jobs.
To view the full results of the Index, visit http://www.xyleminc.com/valueofwater/. This Index presents the results of research conducted on a sample of New York City voters. Xylem understands that the results present a generalization of the opinions of the larger population. See below an overview of the Index methodology.
About the 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index
The 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index is based on a telephone study of 1,008 American voters aged 18 years and older. The national sample of voters is representative of the 2006 U.S. voting population on gender, age, region and ethnicity. The margins of error at the 95 percent confidence level are +/- 3.1 percent for the voter sample. The study was approximately 30 minutes in duration, utilizing computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) technology. The study was conducted between August 16 and 23, 2012.
The Value of Water Survey has been conducted twice; it was first issued in 2010. The 2012 study builds on the 2010 results, providing new insights into public perception of the U.S. water crisis.
About the 2012 Xylem Value of Water New York Index
The 2012 Xylem Value of Water New York Index is based on a telephone study of an oversample of 250 New York City registered voters. The margins of error at the 95 percent confidence level are +/- 6.2 percent for the New York City oversample.
Xylem (XYL) is a leading global water technology provider, enabling customers to transport, treat, test and efficiently use water in public utility, residential and commercial building services, industrial and agricultural settings. The company does business in more than 150 countries through a number of market-leading product brands, and its people bring broad applications expertise with a strong focus on finding local solutions to the world’s most challenging water and wastewater problems. Xylem is headquartered in White Plains, N.Y., with 2012 revenues of $3.8 billion and approximately 12,700 employees worldwide.
The name Xylem is derived from classical Greek and is the tissue that transports water in plants, highlighting the engineering efficiency of our water-centric business by linking it with the best water transportation of all – that which occurs in nature. For more information please visit us at www.xyleminc.com.