Aggregate losses are significant, with many municipalities losing up to 60% of the water they pump through outdated pipes.
In what will be the largest public works project in the country, the city of Chicago, IL is beginning a 10 year initiative to revitalize its waterworks system and replace 900 miles of water mains throughout the metropolitan area. These mains, on average, are over 100 years old, built during Chicago’s rapid expansion between 1890 and 1920.
The city will spend over $350 million to construct new water mains, upgrade sewer lines and overhaul waste management systems. To fund this initiative, water rates in Chicago will increase 25% this year, and 15% for each of the following three years. “If we don’t do this, our streets will sink,” remarked a city Alderman.
The investment requirements for U.S. water infrastructure upgrades are substantial, and the problem will only worsen with time. Chicago is one of the many municipalities around the country to realize that investing in water is of the utmost importance. As a result, we foresee numerous investment opportunities in this space going forward.