Water Infrastructure Needs and Investment: Review and Analysis of Key Issues [Updated June 13, 2007] [open pdf - 235KB]
From the Summary: "Policymakers are giving increased attention to issues associated with financing and investing in the nation's drinking water and wastewater treatment systems, which take in water, treat it, and distribute it to households and other customers, and later collect, treat, and discharge water after use. The renewed attention is due to a combination of factors. These include financial impacts on communities of meeting existing and anticipated regulatory requirements, the need to repair and replace existing infrastructure, and concerns about paying for security-related projects. The federal government has a long history of involvement with wastewater and drinking water systems, with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) having the most significant role, both in terms of regulation and funding. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also plays an important role in rural communities through its water and wastewater loan and grant programs. These programs have been popular; however, states, local communities, and others have asserted that various program gaps and limitations may be diminishing their potential effectiveness. They also point to the emergence of new infrastructure needs and issues. A number of interest groups and coalitions have issued reports on infrastructure funding needs and related policy issues, as have EPA and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). They present a range of estimates and scenarios of future investment costs and gaps between current spending and future costs. EPA and CBO, in particular, caution that projections of future costs are highly uncertain, and that funding gaps are not inevitable."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31116
National Agricultural Law Center http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/crs/