Drinking Water Week, celebrated May 6-12, is a unique opportunity for both water professionals and the communities they serve to join together to recognize the vital role water plays in our daily lives. With the week in full swing, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) joins water professionals across North America in highlighting the importance of investing in water infrastructure.
“We all agree that water is an essential element in our daily lives, but for North Americans, water service is a convenience that we too often take for granted,” says AWWA executive director David LaFrance. “Those buried pipes deliver the water that is vital to our quality of life and economic vitality. They are among our most valuable community assets, and we need to assure they are in good working order for the next generation.”
Much of our drinking water infrastructure was constructed by previous generations during the late 1800s, the 1920s and during the Post World War II boom. Many of the water mains from all three eras must be replaced or repaired in the next 25 years.
In fact, according to a recent AWWA study titled “Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge,” the cost of repairing and expanding U.S. drinking water infrastructure will top $1 trillion in the next 25 years. That figure will rise to $1.7 trillion by 2050.
Addressing these issues will be costly, but not insurmountable, according to the “Buried No Longer” report. Facing them head-on by proactively investing in our tap water systems is a smart, safe, common-sense investment that will pay off for generations to come.