Fixing America’s Crumbling Underground Water Infrastructure
America’s population is expected to grow by 100 million by the middle of the 21st century, thereby putting enormous strains on the nation’s vast underground water networks. Over the next 20 years, upgrading the nation’s water and wastewater systems is expected to cost between $3 and $5 trillion. Building and replacing water and sewage lines alone will cost some $660 billion to $1.1 trillion over the same time period. These projected expenditures are coming at a time when governments at all levels are facing substantial budget shortfalls. Yet modernizing the nation’s underground water infrastructure is absolutely essential. By doing something as simple and sensible as opening up municipal procurement processes to fair competition, the products of our most creative minds can be put to the service of ensuring Americans access to clean, reliable, and affordable water in their homes, schools, and businesses for generations to come.