Removing the Political Shortage of Water

Publication Date: May 2009

Publisher: National Center for Policy Analysis (U.S.)

Author(s): H. Sterling Burnett; Ross Wingo

Research Area: Environment; Government

Keywords: water system; water maintenance; water; public health

Type: Brief

Coverage: United States


About 82 percent of Americans receive drinking water via publicly-owned water systems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Many of these municipal and regional systems operate at a loss, meaning users' fees don't cover the cost of treating and delivering the water. Many water authorities are critically behind on maintenance. They lack the capital to update their water purification and wastewater treatment plants, or to secure additional water supplies to meet expected growth in demand.