Our nation’s drinking water systems face staggering public investment needs over the next several decades. ASCE’s 2020 economic study, “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure: How a Failure to Act Would Affect the U.S. Economic Recovery” found that the annual drinking water and wastewater investment gap will grow to $434 billion by 2029.

Additionally, the cost to comply with the EPA’s 2019 Lead and Copper Rule is estimated at between $130 million and $286 million. Drinking water utilities also face increasing workforce challenges. Much of the current drinking water workforce is expected to retire in the coming decade, taking their institutional knowledge along with them. Between 2016 and 2026, an estimated 10.6% of water sector workers will retire or transfer each year, with some utilities expecting as much as half of their staff to retire in the next five to 10 years.