Water users should expect to pay higher rates, said David LaFrance, executive director of the America Water Works Association at the closing luncheon of the Colorado Water Congress on Friday.
"The cost is massive and the cost of not doing it is massive," LaFrance said. "Household bills will go up as the costs keep coming. AWWA is trying to figure out how to do it so the customers aren't stymied by costs." The largest costs of water investment are not the dams, pumping stations and other parts visible to the naked eye, but the pipes buried underground.
The bulk of that infrastructure was installed after World War II, and will continue to deteriorate, LaFrance said.
AWWA is working to secure national funding to pay the costs, since 85 percent of the water systems in the U.S. are considered very small. A challenge for larger utilities will be to ensure that costs do not unduly burden poorer customers, he added.
The group also named Sterling native Diane Hoppe, a former state representative and now a member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, as the Wayne Aspinall Water Leader of the Year.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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