A national survey partly led by a Wisconsin university shows the average age of water pipes in the United States is 47 years old, and nearly two trillion gallons of water are lost annually. Marquette University, Milwaukee-based water technology firm A.O. Smith and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness recently brought together more than 50 economic leaders and water experts in February to discuss challenges faced by water users. A key conclusion? Manufacturers face several challenges with water supply and loss, including aging and leaking pipes. “The bottom line is we have sort of gotten by with current infrastructure longer than we really should have been able to, and we’re now seeing a challenge of a scope that is difficult to deal with,” William Bates, U.S. Council on Competitiveness executive vice president, said Monday at a press conference highlighting the results of the national study. The potential price tag for a more up-to-date water supply and sewer system is $2 trillion over 25 years, Bates said.
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