As the nation’s water infrastructure ages and populations grow beyond the capacity of existing systems, we will need to deploy billions of dollars to repair and expand drinking water, wastewater, and storm water infrastructure. At the same time, our water infrastructure needs to be more flexible and resilient to climate conditions that are forecast to become even more volatile in the future
Increasing water efficiency is an effective way for water utilities to deliver high quality services to consumers while reducing overhead costs. Improving water efficiency reduces operating costs and reduces the need to develop new supplies and expand water infrastructure. Water and wastewater utilities are typically the largest consumers of energy in municipalities, often accounting for 30 to 40 percent of total energy consumed. Investing in energy efficiency in water sector systems can significantly reduce operating costs, while mitigating the effects of climate change.
Our nation’s water systems need to embrace various financing changes in order to ensure long term sustainability. These include full-cost accounting of water services, incorporating value added services into the revenue picture, and improving the capture of performance data to drive efficiency.
Communities across the country are embracing green infrastructure solutions that capture rain where it falls rather than paying to treat it at the end of the system. These practices make communities not only more resilient to climate impacts but also improve water quality, save money, and attract jobs. Green infrastructure improves the appearance of cities, boosts property values, and attracts private investment.
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