ASCE Water Infrastructure Investment Report

This report analyzes two types of infrastructure needs:

1.       Building new infrastructure to service increasing populations and expanded economic activity; and

2.       Maintaining or rebuilding existing infrastructure that needs repair or replacement.

By 2020, the national investment gap will be $84 billion, based on current spending and needs trends.  In 2020, the costs to businesses and households to maintain reliable water delivery, wastewater treatment and wet weather management is estimated to by $38 billion, and the cumulative costs for in lieu of dependable infrastructure system may run over $200 billion for the years 2011-2020.  Depending on how well businesses adapt to shortages due to unreliable infrastructure (e.g., implementing new sustainability practices to use less water in production processes, using recycled  water and other  methods), the national economy could lose $65--$81 billion of GDP in 2020 and 500,000 – 700,000 jobs beyond levels predicted for that year assuming reliable water and wastewater treatment services)

This is the second report in ASCE’s Failure to Act series prepared by Economic Development Research Group. The first report, Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Surface Transportation Infrastructure, encompasses highways, bridges, rail, and transit. Subsequent reports will address energy transmission, as well as airports and marine ports.


Media Coverage



Water Online

Smart Brief on the Senate Panel Hearing

Smart Brief on the release of the report

Water World