Water Infrastructure Information

Goals

To gain knowledge and statistical data about the following topics: the current infrastructure conditions in the U.S. related to water management and usage at the commercial/enterprise level, how the water landscape is challenged by increasing population, aging infrastructure, statistics about increasing and unpredictable water rates, and higher water bills, especially at the commercial/enterprise level and regionally in the southern U.S. , and the impacts of climate change and weather on water supply, water-related climate data over time.

Early Findings


  • The most recent ASCE Infrastructure Report Card, published in 2017, awarded America's overall infrastructure and its infrastructure related to water. In 2017, America's overall infrastructure was awarded a D+, its dams and inland waterways were both awarded a D, and its ports were awarded a C+.
  • America's drinking water infrastructure isn't any doing any better. The ASCE has awarded America's drinking water infrastructure grades of either a D or a D- for over a decade.
  • Water systems across the country are on the brink of inviability due to our complacency and seeming unwillingness to make the needed investments in our water system infrastructure. The result is water systems unable to support communities, ruined by infrastructure that has declined so much it can no longer be repaired. This behavior can have costly and dangerous consequences, as the recent drinking water crisis in Flint, Michigan has demonstrated.
  • Water crises caused by water systems incapable of meeting the needs of rapidly growing populations is not a new problem. The first example of this occurred in New York in the 1800s when the city's population more than tripled in the 30 years between 1800 and 1830.
  • The water landscape and water availability, in particular, are becoming more concerning issues due to increasing populations in urban and rural areas, our growing understanding of the damage taking too much water from rivers and streams does to local aquatic ecosystems, and "climate change-induced shifts in precipitation patterns."
  • Water levels in the massive dams located on the Colorado River have been dropping since 2000 and continue to drop, due largely to the to the growing demand for water presented by cities with increasing populations and farmers who are dealing with the effects of climate change, another factor heavily impacting water levels in the dams.

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