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Water: Sustainable Infrastructure

Sustainable Water Infrastructure


Water Infrastructure at a Crossroads


As a nation, we have invested billions of dollars over the years to build an extensive network of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure to provide the public with safe and clean water. While some of that infrastructure is now 100 years old or older, much of our network of water treatment plants, distribution lines, sewer lines and storage facilities was built after World War II.

Historically, we have underinvested in the ongoing need to maintain and renew those systems. Over the coming decades, we must change that pattern of underinvestment and put practices in place that ensure that our infrastructure and the utilities that provide us with water services are sustained for the long term. Doing so is vital to the health of our economy, the public and our nation's waters.

Learn more about what it means for infrastructure to be sustainable, the age and expected useful life of the nation's water infrastructure and the consequences of failing infrastructure by reading our Frequently Asked Questions: Water Infrastructure & Sustainability page.

Infrastructure & Investment Needs

pipesWhile many of the nation's water sector systems have been working hard to move toward greater infrastructure sustainability, the level of renewal and reinvestment in the water sector has not kept pace with the need. This has left the nation with a burgeoning gap between what we need to spend to achieve a sustainable pace of renewal and the revenues available to support those needs.

The Path to Sustainable Water Infrastructure

EPA is working with partners across the water sector and beyond to provide the knowledge and tools to ensure that the investments we make in our water infrastructure move us toward a more sustainable footing. The goal can be achieved through strong infrastructure planning and management practices at our water sector systems. Some of the key areas for action are:

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