Member Login Menu

Water & Wastewater

  • Clean Water, and Drinking Water


    • ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded the nation’s drinking water infrastructure a “D.”
    • One million miles of pipes spanning the nation – many of which were laid in the early to mid-20th century with a lifespan of 75 to 100 years – deliver billions of gallons of drinking water a day
    • On average, there are 240,000 water main breaks per year in the U.S., wasting over two trillion gallons of treated drinking water, and leaking, aging pipes are estimated to waste six billion gallons of treated water per day
    • According to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is necessary to maintain and expand drinking water service to meet demands over the next 25 years.
    • ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded the nation’s wastewater infrastructure a “D+.”
    • The nation’s 14,748 wastewater treatment plants protect public health and the environment.
    • It is expected that more than 56 million new users will be connected to centralized wastewater treatment systems over the next two decades, and an estimated $271 billion is needed to meet current and future demands. 
    • Years of wastewater treatment plant upgrades and more stringent federal and state regulations have significantly reduced untreated releases and improved water quality nationwide, but combined sewer overflows continue to plague older systems. Significant improvements are being made by utilizing green infrastructure and adding new storage capacity, which can reduce peak overflows.
    • As the nation’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure continues to age, the cost to repair and replace our pipes and treatment systems will continue to increase. 


    • H.R. 2510, the Water Quality Protection and Job Creation Act of 2017, is a bipartisan bill that invests $25 billion over five years in clean water and wastewater infrastructure.
    • ASCE is working with Congress to reauthorize the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) –  the primary federal investment in water infrastructure.
    • Both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water State Revolving Funds are subject to annual appropriations, which have remained flat in recent years.  However, President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 Budget Request includes $2.3 billion for SRFs, a $4 million increase from FY17 enacted levels.
    • The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) of 2014 made changes to the CWSRF program, which provide greater loan flexibility, lower interest rates and extended repayment periods of 30 years.
    • States are now taking advantage of new CWSRF fund provisions that can be used to implement watershed plans, water conservation practices, stormwater recapture, and for technical assistance to small and medium treatment works.
    • The 2014 WRRDA established the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA), a new mechanism to provide low-interest loans for large drinking water or wastewater infrastructure projects over $20 million. In December 2016, the WIFIA program received $20 million in appropriations, and it began releasing funding opportunities to prospective borrowers in January 2017. 
    • More than 92% of the population is served by 5.5% of the nation’s nearly 52,000 community water systems. The remaining population is served by small water systems, which frequently lack adequate funding. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Water programs, which provide a vital source of funding for these small communities, was eliminated in the President’s FY18 Budget Request. 

    ASCE Position

    • ASCE urges Congress to reauthorize the minimum federal funding of the Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds at $20 billion over five years and $15 billion over five years, respectively. 
    • ASCE urges Congress to fully fund WIFIA at $175 million over five years. 
    • ASCE supports eliminating the state cap on private equity bonds for water infrastructure projects to bring an estimated $6 billion to $7 billion annually in new private financing. 
    • ASCE supports water recycling, efficiency, and conservation programs where the needs of all interests are balanced. 

    Further Information