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Portland Water Bureau

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New Report Raises Awareness on Water’s Importance to National Economy

By Teresa Black

The Environmental Protection Agency recently released a report on The Importance of Water to the U.S. Economy, November 2013. While recognizing that “…reliable information on the economic importance of water is, in many ways, elusive…” the report intends to supply decision-makers with the information necessary to guide decisions about the use and management of the nation’s water resources; and identifies other areas of research needed.

Portland Water Bureau customers may find some relevance to the information regarding drinking water supplies:

Cover of EPA Report

  • Ratepayers often face prices that do not reflect the long-term cost of delivering water to the user.
  • Public water supply systems across the nation are investing heavily in capital-intensive treatment technologies and source water protections to avoid the impacts of contaminated drinking water.
  • Approximately $385 billion is needed to be spent on water system infrastructure over the next 20 years nationwide, with most of those dollars needed for transmission and distribution lines.
  • There are an estimated 250,000 main breaks in theUSeach year. The frequencies of Boil Water Advisories will become increasingly common due to severe weather conditions and aging infrastructure.

Read the full report here.

Terry Black

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