Amount Needed for Nation’s Water Infrastructure $384 Billion, According to US EPA

Drinking Water Purification Plant

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released their report on the amount needed to repair the nation’s water infrastructure. They found that $384 billion would be necessary to repair and replace the aging infrastructure for the treatment, storage, transportation, and distribution of drinking water over the next twenty years.

The report asked large, medium, and small public water systems how much they needed to upgrade their water infrastructure. The survey limited questions to existing drinking water systems and did not include things like dams, reservoirs, expansions of structures or systems, and fire protection.


The report is issued every four years. Previous reports reflect the same need for improvement. Approximately $380 billion was recommended for water infrastructure in 2007 and $376 billion in 2003. A 2011 report by the Water Innovations Foundation (unaffiliated with the EPA) estimated the nation’s water infrastructure needed $365 billion.

Estimated Need for Each Project Type:

  • $247.5 billion needed to repair and replace aging transmission and distribution pipelines and facilities (64.4%)
  • $72.5 billion needed to properly treat drinking water (18.9%)
  • $39.5 billion needed to repair and replace aging storage tanks (10.3%)
  • $20.5 billion needed to car for the source of drinking water
  • $4.2 billion for other projects

Drinking water purification plant photo via Shutterstock

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Author: Heather Carr

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