Aging Infrastructure, Extreme Weather Threaten Access to Drinking Water

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Education, General Videos, Infrastructure, Videos

Many of us are one major weather event or mishap away from losing access to our drinking water – from hurricanes and droughts to aging infrastructure, our water utilities are laboring under a heavy burden, while simultaneously struggling to find the funding to address hardening and maintaining our aging water systems.

The American Society of Civil Engineers has given the country’s water systems a “C-,” citing inadequate funding and not enough revenue generated to meet maintenance needs and upgrade systems. Most systems serve small populations – 83 percent of them serve just 8 percent of the population – and don’t have a large pool of ratepayers to shoulder the burden of needed maintenance to the aging infrastructure. Not only is funding inadequate, but systems are reaching the end of their useful life. There are an estimated 240,000 water breaks each year in our aging system, causing $6 billion in associated costs.

These growing forces on our country’s water systems are creating a perfect storm that will result in many days without water across the country – the only questions are when and where.

Watch below as Justin Steinbugl, SLWP Account Manager, discusses his experience without water following Hurricane Ivan.

Many Americans are one crisis away from being without water – which is why the National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program supports the educational efforts of the Value of Water Campaign’s Imagine a Day Without Water. Imagine a Day Without Water is being held today and brings attention to our aging and underfunded national water system.

And the system is underfunded. In 1977, federal investment in our water systems accounted for 63 percent of total water spending. However, in 2014, investment was 9 percent of total spending – one-seventh of what it was 40 years ago, even as much of the national system is at end of its useful life.

American citizens understand the urgency of repairing our national water system – 82 percent agree that water infrastructure needs to be a top priority. The Service Line Warranty Program by HomeServe encourages community leaders, elected officials and water utilities to work together to address the desperate need for aging infrastructure improvements. To find out how we can help you reach that goal, contact us.