lost revenue and generating a return on
investment within two years.
Also last year, the USEPA issued a Clean
Water and Drinking Water Infrastructure
Sustainability Policy to provide technical
assistance and $3.3 billion in funding
in hopes of jumpstarting infrastructure
construction. The agency instructed states
to adopt smart-growth principles and invest
in existing infrastructure first, but some
municipalities want more control over how
the monies are spent.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency
also began funding a four-year, $375 million
project to replace drinking water and sewer
lines, storm drains, and roads that were
under water and damaged solely by
As demand for natural gas increases, so has
scrutiny of the environmental impacts of
hydraulic fracturing, a form of extracting
natural gas, on nearby watersheds. In fact,
“more than two out of three Americans (69%)
are concerned about the drilling technique’s
possible threat to clean drinking water,”
according to a 2010 Infogroup/Opinion
Research Corporation survey.
The USEPA announced in March that it would
study the potential human health and water
quality effects of fracking. The agency might
also outline best management practices and
provide other guidance.
Source Water Protection
While source water protection is important
to delivering safe drinking water, no federal
mandate or coordinated framework currently
exists, leaving water utilities on their own to
control related impacts.
In Science Daily’s “Large Number of Public
Wells in U.S. Have Potentially Harmful
Contaminants in Source Water, Study Finds,”
the article said that a 2010 U.S. Geological
Survey study found that more than 20% of
untreated water samples from 932 public
wells across the nation contained at least
one contaminant at levels of potential health
concern—affecting about one-third of the
In this regard, the United States joins other
large, geographically diverse countries such
as Brazil, which found up to 30% of that
nation’s water sources were of poor quality.
The Water-Energy Nexus
Curbing energy use not only shrinks the
global carbon footprint, it saves a tremendous amount of water. Efforts are underway
worldwide to continue this trend.
In Dubai, officials raised electricity and
water bills 15% in 2010 in hopes of reducing
unnecessary consumption, Bloomberg
reported in its “Dubai to Raise Water, Power
Prices, Emarat Alyoum Reports” feature.
Residents of this Gulf country consume
a staggering 132 gallons of water each day,
compared to 70 gallons daily in the United
States. Dubai’s Energy Council also passed
a green building regulation that is expected
to reduce water and power consumption