A nationwide poll of US voters by Xylem revealed that more than three-quarters of Americans are concerned about the poor state of the nation’s water infrastructure system and believe US water infrastructure needs reform. Most say they would be willing to pay more each month to ensure that today’s problems are fixed so that clean water keeps flowing. However, Americans are largely unaware of their daily water use or how much water infrastructure influences their lives. These poll results indicate a growing public awareness and concern but also a need to educate Americans about the economics of water and the role that water and water infrastructure play in our lives and national economy.
The 2009 American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Report Card for America’s Infrastructure indicates that the poor state of our water infrastructure is part of a larger pattern of neglecting our national infrastructure that endangers the public and harms the national economy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agrees, pointing out that, for much of past 20 years, funding has been inadequate to maintain the national portfolio of water resources infrastructure. While I am glad to see attention being paid to this issue, I have to ask if this momentum translates into sufficient political will to take on the estimated $2.2 trillion repair bill in the midst of a recession?
Thanks to Scott for the tip!