Do you know the value of clean water and a solid water distribution infrastructure? When I first moved onto our farm, I gained a strong grasp of the value of water. The year-round springs had dried up in the summer of 2004 and everything had to be hauled in. When the car gave up the ghost, that meant taking a wagon to the nearest store two miles away at the small whistle-stop town that claimed our zip code. Fortunately, most people have a much stronger infrastructure already in place, even if they don't bother to think about it on a daily basis. But what happens when that infrastructure fails?
Many municipalities and organizations, even water utilities, treat investing in water utility infrastructure as a necessary expense. But when a storm overloads a dam, a planned repair leaves a community without water or freezing weather cuts off service, suddenly the value of water and the distribution infrastructure it uses to reach our homes becomes much more apparent. Here's a quick look at why it's important to invest in water infrastructure an important part of any water utility's operations.
Most water utilities have it a lot easier than I did those first months on the farm. But at the same time, the water infrastructure in the United States is teetering on the verge of disaster on a daily basis, with America's water receiving a "D", grade given by the 2017 study by the American Society of Civil Engineers rating and our wastewater systems at a D+. It's estimated that to bring the current issues with the water systems in our country up to date, we'll need to see a national investment of $82 billion annually. But that investment is actually a good thing.
In addition to gaining a more solid infrastructure, the effort involved in completing these projects is expected to generate 1.3 million jobs and $220 billion in economic activity - nearly a three-fold return on investment. In addition, fixing these problems make businesses more competitive and productive to the tune of $94 billion each year. When water is shut off due to unexpected repairs, a single day of disruption can lead to up to $43.5 billion in sales at risk.
What's more, customers are becoming stakeholders, willing to pony up the cash to make the changes needed to improve the water infrastructure. A recent poll by the Value of Water Campaign found that 80% of people felt that improving the existing infrastructure was of vital importance, 75% felt that an investment of $1.2 trillion over the next 25 years to build resiliency into the system needed to happen and an additional 79% feel that these investments need to happen now instead of waiting for the systems to simply fail.
When your water utility invests in clean water and improving your distribution infrastructure, you're able to run more efficiently and effectively than before, providing you with opportunities to lower costs, improve overhead and focus on what really matters in your organization. If you're ready to make a big difference in your water utility's operations, Team EJP is here to help. Please feel free to contact us today with any questions, concerns about your operation or for more information on our range of dynamic solutions to all your water utility problems.