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Increased federal investment and higher consumer rates will be required to meet $250-300 billion in drinking water infrastructure needs during the next three decades, AWWA Water Utility Council Chairman Howard Neukrug told a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee last week.
Speaking April 28 before the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, Neukrug said America needs "a new partnership for reinvesting in drinking water infrastructures."
"AWWA remains committed to the principle of full cost recovery through rates," Neukrug said. "However, AWWA does believe that due to concurrent needs for investment in water and wastewater infrastructure, security projects, replacement of treatment plants, new drinking water standards, and demographic changes, many utilities will be very hard pressed to meet their capital needs without some form of federal assistance."
Water utilities are facing several challenges in maintaining and replacing drinking water infrastructure. Neukrugs testimony focused on costs associated with pipe repair, increased regulation, security needs and replacement of lead service lines.