EPA Releases Fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment
Results from the EPA’s fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment indicate that $384 billion in improvements are needed by 2030 for the nation’s drinking water infrastructure system to continue providing safe drinking water to 297 million Americans. The report shows that the nation’s water systems have entered a rehabilitation and replacement era in which much of the existing infrastructure has reached or is approaching the end of its useful life. The survey is required under the Safe Drinking Water Act to be conducted every four years. In Arizona, the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority (WIFA) is responsible for collecting the information and submitting it to the EPA. Consistent with all other participating states, Arizona gathered data from a statistical sampling of the state’s approximately 800 water providers. These data showed that Arizona will need $7.44 billion in drinking water infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years. Much of the state’s infrastructure is more than 30 years old, and investments are required to upgrade and repair pipes, treatment plants, storage tanks and water distribution systems. In terms of investment needs, Arizona ranks 16th out of the 36 states that completed a full needs survey. WIFA has more than $100 million available for financing water infrastructure projects. Funding is directed to communities with the greatest need.