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President Trump has announced his intent to unveil an infrastructure initiative this in January 2018. Although details are lacking, the initiative is expected to include $200 billion of federal spending spread over 10 years, policies intended to leverage $800 billion in new investment by the private sector, more spending by state and local governments, and more deregulation to speed up federal agency approvals for local projects.
The president seems motivated by a perception that America's highways and water, wastewater, airports, energy, rail, and telecommunications systems are falling apart. Serious problems do exist, but the facts suggest something less than impending disaster.
An approach that assumes everything is broken could obscure real financial needs and management problems in some locales.
As described in a recent RAND report, the situation is varied and nuanced for water infrastructure, the vast majority of which is owned and operated by state and local governments. Indeed, state and local governments already account for 94 percent of U.S. spending on capital, operations and maintenance of water and wastewater utilities. Many of these public owners are doing a good job managing their assets, but many others are struggling. An approach that assumes everything is broken could obscure real financial needs and management problems in some locales.
Read the full article on water and wastewater utilities by Debra Knopman and David Catt at RAND