EPA suggests $384bn investment to improve drinking water infrastructure in US

Water pipelines

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) belives the country needs to invest around $384bn in its drinking water infrastructure through to 2030 in order to provide potable water to its residents.

In its fifth 'Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment' report, the EPA has identified that over the next two decades the country will have to invest in water distribution, treatment, storage, and network infrastructure to improve water supply, public health, and economy.

The investment would be made to address the needs of 73,400 water systems across the US, as well as American Indian and Alaska Native Village water systems.

Environmental Protection Agency acting administrator Bob Perciasepe said sufficient and safe drinking water in homes, schools, and business would improve the health and prosperity of residents.

"The survey EPA released today 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," Perciasepe added.

"This is a major issue that must be addressed so that American families continue to have the access they need to clean and healthy water sources."

In the survey, the agency identified that in many cases drinking water infrastructures were 50-100 years old.

Around $247.5bn of investment will be required to replace or refurbish aging or deteriorating water distribution and transmission lines, while $72.5bn will be needed to build, expand or restore treatment infrastructure to reduce contamination.

Nearly $39.5bn will be allocated to construct, rehabilitate or cover finish the water storage reservoirs, while $20.5bn will be reserved to build or renew water intake structures, wells and spring collectors.

EPA allocates Drinking Water State Revolving Fund grants to all states in the US and provides low-cost financing to public water systems for infrastructure improvements, which are necessary to protect public health and comply with drinking water regulations.

Image: A part of the investment will be used to build and improve water distribution and transmission lines in the US. Photo: Courtesy of Jonathan Wilkins.