Water Service Industry
Water and wastewater utilities companies in the United States provide safe, reliable and economical service measured by comparative standard of performance. The nation’s water infrastructure has benefited largely from long-term investments in water systems and the adoption of new water standards with financial assistance. Although the U.S. water service systems are based on historic conservative approach and are resistant to change, major changes are under way.
Where I work we are constantly applying for funding from local, state, and federal agencies to construct an adequate water and wastewater system for the 210 square miles within the district’s boundaries. We are constantly growing and as each project is generated by engineering we seek funding or grants to push it through. Water consumers, public and special interest groups are becoming more vocal and better educated about the quality of the water. There are a handful of issues that include growing media coverage from local to nationwide, contamination and pollution events, low water supplies in some regions, statutory red tape for project construction, and competition from environmental and human uses of it. Legislators at all levels of the government are creating laws to tighten the standards and increasing the costs. Water is a service that has value added and many consumers take advantage of it by stealing it.
In 2014 more than 130 water utility professionals from 47 states visited their members of congress to urge funding for critical loan programs to repair and renew water and wastewater systems across the U.S. During the Water Matters! Fly-In, an annual event hosted by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), the water utility leaders took part in more than 300 meetings with elected representatives over two days. In those meetings they discussed support for fully authorized funding, support at least 1.3 billion in funding for the drinking water state revolving fund, etc.
Customers expect and want adequate environmental protection and public health protection at the lowest reasonable cost. We try our best to educate our consumers to that effect and invite them every month to our regular board meeting to voice their concerns and learn of the District’s progress in the community. Water consumption is a necessity but at the same time it is a nicety we must take special care of.
The National Academic Press, Forces of Change in the Water Service Industry, 2002
Water Technology, April 18, 2016