The Costs of Our Failing Water Infrastructure

Bennett Courrier Oaster of the Energy Collective recently analyzed the trillions of gallons of water lost from leaky pipes and other faulty infrastructure in cities all over the U.S. every year. Among his findings:

*   About 14-18% of water treated in the United States is wasted through aging and damaged infrastructure, as well as faulty meters.

*   Manhattan loses about 2.1 trillion gallons of water every year, or nearly 6 billion gallons a day, primarily as a result of aging infrastructure and pressure changes in old water mains.

*   Chicago wastes about 22 billion gallons of treated water a year, enough to serve 700,000 individual needs for a whole year.

*   The state of California loses about 228 billion gallons a year, which is more than the city of Los Angeles uses in a year. On average the state loses 49 gallons a day for every service connection, and Sacramento loses 135 gallons per connection.

*   In 2013 San Francisco experienced over 100 water main breaks and New York averages over 400 a year.

*   Houston lost 22 billion gallons of water in 2013, 15% of its total water supply.

*   According to the EPA, we lose about 34 billion gallons of drinking water a day in the United States, about 1/6 of our public water systems supply.

Distressing, isn’t it? Next week, we’ll report on the estimated cost to address these staggering losses, and how the federal government is failing to meet its responsibility in that area. Stay tuned!


About Clean Water Council

The Clean Water Council (CWC) is a group of national organizations representing underground construction contractors design professionals, manufacturers and suppliers, labor unions and other committed to ensuring a high quality of life through sound environmental infrastructure. Working in concert, CWC's 39 national organizations, advocate federal legislation and policies that will promote clean water and improve the nation's failing infrastructure.​
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