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Survey Says: Most Americans Think We Need Better Water Infrastructure Survey Says: Most Americans Think We Need Better Water Infrastructure

Survey Says: Most Americans Think We Need Better Water Infrastructure

by Dave Burdick

December 1, 2012

Every now and then, I hear some warning about what's in my water and then I pour a glass of water and drink a little so I can do a proper spit-take

Yeah, relatively speaking, we've got it pretty good, but there's room for improvement. Americans know it, too, according to a survey conducted by water technology company Xylem.

The results, which can be found in a flashy, interactive presentation titled "The Value of Water," are of the probably-to-Xylem's-liking variety, so factor that in a little when you read the following highlights: 

Nearly all Americans (88 percent) believe that government should be accountable for fixing and maintaining our nation’s water infrastructure. They want government to invest more time (79 percent) and money (85 percent) in upgrading our water pipes and systems. And Americans trust local and municipal governments to address these problems more than other entities.

Americans recognize that they also have a personal role to play and are willing to pay for upgrades to the water system. Despite recent water rate increases, six in ten Americans (61 percent) are willing to pay more money to underwrite infrastructure improvements. If we took them up on their offer, the United States could invest an additional $6.4 billion per year (based on 61 percent of U.S. households paying 12 percent more each month) to maintain our nation’s water infrastructure. This is more than six times the current federal investment in our nation’s drinking water systems through the U.S. EPA Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, the main vessel for federal water infrastructure funding.

There's no doubting that good, clean water is at least as important as efficient heat and energy, and this survey suggests that most Americans want it enough to pay for it. 

The survey also provides some other interesting insights, including the level of awareness that Americans have about how much they're using (a hint: they're wrong).

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