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Respondents said they were willing to pay more to ensure access to clean water
ITT Corp. announced the results of its Value of Water Survey, a nationwide poll that included registered voters and industrial and agricultural businesses that measures how the public values water and its level of awareness of the nation's aging water infrastructure. The results show that a majority of the American public desires reform and is willing to pay more to ensure that it has access to clean water in the generations to come.
The survey found that nearly one in four American voters is “very concerned” about the state of the United States' water infrastructure.
“Water is a necessity, but our survey confirms that most people take access to clean tap water for granted,” said Gretchen McClain, president of ITT's fluid and motion control business. “Indeed, water is one critical issue missing from the national infrastructure debate. Yet when presented with the facts, Americans recognize a looming crisis and are willing to pay their share to properly maintain the systems that bring clean water into their homes.”
The survey revealed that 63% of all American voters are willing to pay an average of 11% more on their water bills each month to help ensure continued access to a reliable and consistent supply of clean water. When applied across all American households, this increase is equal to $5.4 billion—four times the federal investment in U.S. drinking water systems in 2009. In addition, a majority of industrial and agricultural businesses surveyed said they are willing to pay an average of 7% more per month for the water they consume.
Most survey respondents also said that fixing insufficient water infrastructure must be a national priority and is a shared responsibility between individuals, business and the government.
Among the survey findings, ITT learned that:
• 95% of Americans rate water as “extremely important,”—more important than any other service they receive, including heat and electricity;
• 80% of voters say water infrastructure needs reform; about 40% say “major reform” is necessary;
• 85% of voters and 83% of businesses agree that federal, state or local governments should invest money in upgrading water pipes and systems; and
• 79% of voters and 75% of industrial and agricultural businesses agree that government officials must spend more time addressing water issues.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the gap between what is needed to invest and what is actually invested in the nation's water infrastructure is about $19 billion each year.