16. March 2011 02:09
Drinking water treatment plants, sewer lines, drinking water distribution lines, and storage facilities ensure protection of public health and the environment. As a nation, we have built this extensive network of infrastructure to provide the public with access to water and sanitation. Much of the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the U.S. was built 30 years following World War II, mirroring the increase in population.
We cannot ignore the arriving wave of infrastructure rehabilitation and replacement we will face over the next several decades. To do so would put the achievements of the last 30-40 years and our nation’s waters and public health at risk.
EPA is committing to promote sustainable practices that will help to reduce the potential gap between funding needs and spending at the local and national level. The Sustainable Infrastructure Initiative guides our efforts in changing how the nation views, values, manages, and invests in its water infrastructure. EPA is working with the water industry to identify best practices that have helped many of the nation’s utilities address a variety of management challenges and extend the use of these practices to a greater number of utilities. We believe that collaboration with a coalition of leaders, with EPA playing a prominent role, can build a roadmap for the future promotion of sustainable infrastructure through a Four Pillars approach:
Better Management of Water and Wastewater Utilities,
Rates that Reflect the Full Cost Pricing of Services,
Efficient Water Use, and
Watershed Approaches to Protection.