Stronger Investment Needed in Our Water System


Peter Gleick, a long-time expert on environmental safety, provides a great take on the need to invest funds into our nation’s aging water infrastructure system. Gleick praises the US water system for being one of the most advanced in the world, and he traces its history back to the industrial age and the effect that clean tap water had on the economy of the nation and the health of the general population. But we are beginning to fall behind now, with infrastructure beginning to decay and the public losing trust in the water system. Gleick gives the prescription for this:

If local water agencies priced their water properly — remember, Americans pay fractions of a penny per gallon of tap water, compared with $4 or more for a gallon of bottled water — they could reinvest those revenues in community water systems to upgrade, expand and operate the best water purification and treatment systems that technology and money can buy. Old distribution systems can be upgraded and replaced, including old connections that leach lead and other contaminants into otherwise safe water. People like to complain about their utility rates. But most of us pay far, far less for our water than we do for electricity, cellphones, Internet service or cable television, and experience shows that when customers have confidence in the services they are getting, they are willing to pay for them.

Are you willing to pay more than you currently are for your tap water?

Make sure to check out the full Washington Post article. And stay up to date on all regional water news by signing up for our e-mail updates on RenewLV’s Join Us page. (For more information on regional water issues, make sure to visit RenewLV’s Regional Water Initiative page.)

About Beata Bujalska

Beata Bujalska is the former Campaign Coordinator for Renew Lehigh Valley. She currently lives in Panama, a place that fascinates her due to (among other reasons) its recent development boom.

Posted on June 16, 2010, in Media Coverage, Public Infrastructure, Water and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’m willing to pay more if I know and trust what I’m getting. Water is still cheap, given how important it is. What’s the definition of a third-world country? A place where I don’t trust the tap water.

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