Water Industry

Water companies have been providing quality service for centuries. But as communities across the country grapple with increasingly stringent environmental and safety regulations and the complexities of providing water service, they are turning to regulated, private water companies as a trusted partner to maintain, modernize and operate critical water and wastewater services.

What we do

Our member companies safeguard public health, promote environmental stewardship and deliver sustainable solutions, supporting the needs of nearly 73 million Americans every day.

For NAWC members, the top priority is reliably delivering safe water at affordable rates. Our member companies know the public entrusts the water industry’s stewardship, and therefore they diligently protect our nation’s water.

Water systems owned and operated by regulated, private water companies deliver more than 4.6 billion gallons of water to their customers every day. These companies are doing so much more than simply selling a commodity. The employees are members of the communities that they serve and take pride in providing the infrastructure needed to treat and deliver safe, affordable water.

NAWC members have an exceptional record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. Ensuring this high standard of quality requires extraordinary amounts of capital investment.

NAWC’s 15 largest members are collectively investing $5 billion each year to improve the infrastructure of the water and wastewater systems in their communities.

73M

Americans supported by NAWC member companies

4.6B

Gallons of water delivered each day by water companies

Over $5B

Invested each year by NAWC's 15 largest members to improve water system quality and reliability across the country — Nearly half of what the federal government invests annually

The many benefits of working with regulated, private water companies

Strategic, ongoing investment in water systems

NAWC members provide the capital that is crucial to ensure the water systems they own and operate reliably deliver more than 4.6 billion gallons of safe water to their customers in communities across America every day.

However, our nation’s water infrastructure is aging and in many communities, the systems have been historically underfunded. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that across all U.S. drinking water systems (government-run utilities and regulated, private water companies) a water main breaks every two minutes and an estimated six billion gallons of treated water is lost each day in the United States – that’s enough to fill over 9,000 swimming pools.

Regulated, private water companies are taking this growing challenge head on.

NAWC’s 15 largest members alone invest more than $5 billion annually to improve their communities’ water systems across the country.

Safe and reliable water

NAWC members have an exemplary water quality compliance record.

Regulated, private water companies are far less likely to have health-based drinking water quality violations than their government-run counterparts, according to a 2018 research study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

A further analysis of state-level PNAS data confirmed that regulated, private water companies have higher rates of Safe Drinking Water Act compliance.

Unparalleled expertise

NAWC members are water stewards and world-class professionals.

Stringent federal and state environmental regulations and the complexities of water treatment and delivery have become increasingly burdensome for municipalities.

The lessons from places including East Palestine, OH, Baltimore, MD, Newark, NJ, and Jackson, MS, serve as a stark reminder that having enhanced technical and operating expertise matters.

Regulated, private water companies offer a vast network of experienced water utility management professionals with a singular focus on ensuring safe and reliable water service to the communities they serve.

Improving local economies

NAWC members invest in the communities they serve.

Regulated, private water companies contribute to local economies by paying federal and state income taxes, local property taxes, and permit fees for projects, providing valuable government revenue.

These companies also provide good-paying jobs, competitive benefits and training to local residents. When a community is served by a regulated, private water company, it frees up municipalities to invest capital and resources in other priority projects.

Environmental stewardship

NAWC members are committed to protecting the environment and to using our most precious resource – water – wisely.

Active, responsible environmental leadership is paramount to providing water for the public health and safety of our communities. Regulated, private water companies continue to be at the forefront of a more holistic approach to resource management that embraces watershed planning, greener cities and fosters environmental and economic vitality.

Workplace safety

Employees are a top priority for NAWC members. The data shows regulated, private water companies have a stronger employee safety record than government-run utilities.

Federal data shows a 34.6% lower rate of injury and illnesses for regulated, private water utility workers compared to municipal workers between 2011 and 2021.

Water security

NAWC members have been at the forefront of water safety and security for years, even before the federal government or Congress mandated stringent measures.

By leading with successful, innovative and cutting-edge approaches, NAWC members protect the communities they serve.

Additional regulatory oversight

NAWC members are highly regulated, which leads to enhanced transparency and consumer protections.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates NAWC members at the federal level and various health and environmental agencies regulate them for compliance with the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act at the state level.

Unlike government-run systems, state public utility commissions regulate the rates of these professional water companies with a thorough ratemaking process that includes looking at safety metrics, quality-of-service benchmarks and the utility’s operating costs.