Water Infrastructure: Information on Selected Midsize and Large Cities with Declining Populations, Report to the Ranking Member, Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the highlights section within the document: "Many midsize and large cities throughout the United States, including the Midwest and Northeast, have lost a substantial percentage of their population. These cities face the challenge of a corresponding decline in utility revenues from a loss of ratepayers, which makes it difficult to address their water infrastructure needs. Overall, water and wastewater utilities across the United States face substantial costs to maintain, upgrade, or replace aging and deteriorating infrastructure-approximately $655 billion for water and wastewater utilities over the next 20 years according to EPA's most recent estimates. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review the water and wastewater infrastructure needs in midsize and large cities with declining populations. This report examines (1) the economic characteristics of such cities and their water and wastewater infrastructure needs; (2) strategies that selected cities and utilities have used to address their infrastructure needs and the affordability of their water and wastewater rates; and (3) what existing federal programs and policies, if any, could assist such cities in addressing their needs. GAO analyzed decennial census and American Community Survey data, relevant studies, and utility financial statements for 10 cities with the largest population declines from 1980 through 2010 and 14 water and wastewater utilities in those cities. GAO also reviewed laws, regulations, policies, and guidance for six federal programs; analyzed program and city and utility funding data; and interviewed agency and city officials and representatives from 12 of the 14 utilities."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations