EPA finds steep uptick in wastewater, stormwater funding needs

By Miranda Willson | 05/14/2024 04:24 PM EDT

The agency said $630 billion will be required for water infrastructure between 2022 and 2041 — a 73 percent bump compared to the amount reported in 2012.

An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant.

An aerial view of the East Bay Municipal Utility District Wastewater Treatment Plant on April 29, 2020, in Oakland, California. Justin Sullivan/AFP via Getty Images

Water infrastructure investment needs in the U.S. have jumped as states grapple with aging systems and the threat of climate change, EPA said in a report this week.

EPA released to Congress its Clean Watersheds Needs Survey, which estimates the total cost of investments needed in each state and territory for wastewater treatment plants, stormwater, pollution control and septic tanks.

Last updated in 2012, the survey is meant to help the federal government and states determine potential gaps between water infrastructure needs and available funding. It’s also intended to identify steps that states must take to meet their water quality goals under the Clean Water Act.

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This year’s version is more comprehensive than in years past, EPA said. All told, the report found that $630 billion will be needed for water infrastructure between 2022 and 2041 — a 73 percent increase compared to amount reported in 2012.

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