Source: American Water Works Association, 2014
Results from AWWA’s 2014 State of the Water Industry survey demonstrate the water sector has shifted its focus from economic recovery to the legacy issues that have engaged water professionals for years. Chief among these are the state of water and sewer infrastructure, long-term water supply availability, financing for capital improvements, and public understanding of the value of water.
Some of the major findings of this study are:
■ Addressing water and sewer infrastructure needs, the most important water industry issue, could easily top $2 trillion over the next 25 years in the United States.
■ The top five water industry issues identified for 2014 are:
1. State of water and sewer infrastructure
2. Long-term water supply availability
3. Financing for capital improvements
4. Public understanding of the value of water resources
5. Public understanding of the value of water systems and services
■ Eight percent of respondents felt that water and wastewater utilities are not at all able to cover the full cost of providing service, and that nearly doubled to fifteen percent when looking to the future. Ten percent of utility employees felt that their utilities were currently not at all able to cover the full cost of providing service, and that figure is expected to increase to 14 percent in the future. Respondents clearly expressed that full-cost pricing is currently a challenge and one that will only become more difficult moving forward.