Infrastructure Investment

NAWC’s 15 largest members collectively invest over $5 billion annually into water systems every year. These investments ensure critical infrastructure is not not only well maintained but modernized so that customers receive clean, safe and reliable water service now and for generations to come.

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Investing in our future today

NAWC Member Companies are committed to strengthening America’s water infrastructure.

100K miles

of pipe maintained by NAWC member companies to serve more than 73 million Americans every day

142,500

U.S. jobs provided by NAWC's $5 billion investment, according to the Associated General Contractors and the U.S. Conference of Mayors

Infrastructure Challenges

Our country’s infrastructure crisis is real and regulated water companies’ investments offer much-needed solutions.

NAWC’s 15 largest members invest more than $5 billion annually to improve community water systems. These are dollars coming from the regulated sector and not out of a municipal budget.

Water main breaks

Studies suggest that between 700 and 850 water main breaks occur each day in North America, causing more than $3 billion in repair costs annually.

Investment needed

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) projects $472.6 billion is needed to maintain drinking water infrastructure between 2015 and 2035. Combined with wastewater needs, the EPA projects more than $600 billion is needed over 20 years for necessary infrastructure improvements.

Changing the failing status quo

The drinking water sector is extremely fragmented, with over 50,000 water systems across the US. More than 90% of systems serve fewer than 10,000 people and half serve fewer than 500 people.

Water system fragmentation increases costs and often decreases water quality, perpetuating environmental injustice and causing disproportionate harm to low-income communities. This nation has many small and medium-sized water systems that are distressed. Aging and deteriorating water systems threaten economic vitality and public health.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), key challenges facing small and midsize water utilities include: a lack of expertise to operate and maintain their systems, a lack of financial resources, and aging infrastructure. Many smaller local systems are facing shrinking budgets and have smaller populations of customers to share the increasing costs of providing safe drinking water and reliable wastewater services.

Communities nationwide are facing massive fiscal challenges to replace water and wastewater infrastructure and effectively manage their systems. Water challenges are seemingly becoming more complicated and more frequent as communities grapple with how to pay for needed improvements to their water treatment and delivery systems.

As more water utilities wrestle with regulatory compliance and costly infrastructure needs, it is important to understand the specific challenges these systems face — and the ongoing, strategic investments it will require.

Water-related services are extremely capital intensive – more so than electric, natural gas and telecom – which is why we water companies take a proactive investment strategy to ensure our country’s water future.

 

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