Aqua America Will Continue to Be Part of Solution to Address Crumbling U.S. Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
Feb 21, 2018
The 2018 State of the Union addressed ways that companies like Aqua America (Aqua) can play a role in solving the United States’ crumbling infrastructure challenges. Aqua’s chairman and CEO confirmed today the company is prepared and ready to continue investing in and repairing the country’s aging water and wastewater systems.
“The road to repairing and replacing water and wastewater infrastructure in the United States should include regulated water utilities that have access to low-cost capital and whose primary focus is water and wastewater,” said Chris Franklin. “As one of the largest water and wastewater utilities, Aqua is poised to answer the call and step in to make real improvements for communities. Action needs to be taken now.”
The American Society of Civil Engineers issued a 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, giving U.S. water infrastructure a “D” and wastewater infrastructure a “D+”. Fixing these problems will require significant investment but it can be done in a prudent and timely manner. According to the American Water Works Association, it will cost an estimated $1 trillion to maintain and expand drinking water service to meet demands over the next 25 years.
A majority of Americans receive their drinking water from one of more than 51,000 community water systems, managed by local governments. While many municipally managed systems are well-run, there are many others that do not have the ability to properly fund necessary upgrades to their water and wastewater systems.
In these instances, Franklin believes infrastructure investment from regulated water providers can go to work to revitalize water and wastewater infrastructure throughout the country. “My request of Congress for infrastructure investment is to let private capital be a larger part of the solution,” Franklin said.
Aqua is a leader in partnering with municipalities that are struggling to maintain their systems, whether because of water quality issues, critical infrastructure investment needs, or budgetary constraints. By leveraging compliance expertise, purchasing power and operational efficiencies, Aqua is able to inject much-needed investment into the systems and develop the infrastructure required for clean drinking water and wastewater services.
Over the past five years, Aqua has invested more than $1.5 billion in infrastructure improvements, including hundreds of miles of pipe replacement and plant upgrades to enhance water quality. In 2017, Aqua invested more than $450 million on infrastructure projects across its eight-state foot print, helping to ensure safe and reliable water for all customers.
“Regulated utilities like Aqua recognize that the state of the nation’s infrastructure is a serious issue, and Aqua is committed to being part of the solution,” said Franklin.
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