The nation’s crumbling infrastructure was made strikingly obvious by a recent string of collapsing bridges and train derailments. A newly released report highlights a less visible but equally urgent time bomb: deteriorating drinking water systems. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that $384 billion over the next 17 years is needed to repair and replace thousands of miles of pipes, thousands of water treatment plants, storage tanks, and water distribution systems. Without this investment, millions of Americans will lose the clean drinking water we currently take for granted.

Most of the drinking water infrastructure in the nation is 50 to 100 years old, and the risk of contamination grows as pipes age and break down further. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, 7 billion gallons of clean drinking water are lost every day because of leaky pipes. In order to address this growing problem, every state needed at least $1 billion to fix their drinking water infrastructure. Most require between $3 and $10 billion, while nine states need more than $10 billion.

California, already struggling with severe water shortages that will only worsen with climate change, needs the most rehabilitation. Repairing and updating California’s drinking water system will cost at least […]

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