America’s Water Infrastructure Requires New Mindset

Trust, cooperate, and innovate for safe water and thriving communities.

Codi Kozacek, Circle of Blue

Infrastructure CatalystAmerica’s substantial water challenges are not secret any longer. Cities poisoned by lead-contaminated drinking water and toxic algae, along with crippling droughts and dwindling groundwater reserves, make it increasingly clear that the nation’s water systems urgently require an overhaul. That was the consensus view of experts convened this week in New York City during H2O Catalyst, an interactive town hall event broadcast live by Circle of Blue with American Public Media and Columbia University.

Listeners from around the world joined the H2O Catalyst broadcast, which focused on the extent of repairs needed to upgrade old and inadequate pipes and treatment plants, and redesign the way water is collected and treated.

Price of Water 2016: Up 5 Percent in 30 Major U.S. Cities; 48 Percent Increase Since 2010

Utilities respond to changes in water use and availability.

By Brett Walton Circle of Blue

America’s water systems were built to last. Philadelphia is one of the older cities on the Atlantic Coast and Northeast that still use pipes that were installed before the Civil War. The pipes have held up remarkably well over 160 years. But without new parts and maintenance these systems will not last forever. The repair bill has come due and water prices are increasing to pay for it.

The price of water rose 5 percent last year, according to Circle of Blue’s annual survey of 30 major U.S. cities. The median increase was 3.5 percent. The increase continues a steady upward climb in water prices that reflects investment in new infrastructure and a response to declining water sales. The average price climbed 48 percent since 2010.

Click below continue reading and to view the Water Rates Dashboard, an interactive graphic shows seven years of water rates data from 30 major U.S. cities.

Previous Town Halls

Circle of Blue and Maestro Conference are at the forefront of virtual, interactive events driving the water, food, energy, and climate discussions.