U.S. water infrastructure needs $384-billion upgrade, EPA says


The federal government must spend at least $384 billion to improve the nation’s drinking water infrastructure in order to ensure the safe delivery of water to Americans for the next 20 years.

That’s the conclusion of a survey conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the fifth time the Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment was conducted. The survey projects needed upgrades to pipes, treatment plants and water distribution systems.

The report, which by law must be submitted to Congress every four years, examined 73,400 water systems. In many cases, drinking water infrastructure was reported to be 50 to 100 years old.


Among the most pressing needs:

  • $247.5 billion to replace or refurbish aging or deteriorating water lines
  • $72.5 billion to construct, expand or rehabilitate water treatment infrastructure
  • $39.5 billion to construct, rehabilitate or cover finished water storage reservoirs