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U.S. water infrastructure woefully inadequate, leaking.

UCLA water main break on Sunset, one of the busiest surface streets in L.A. Credit: KTLA

UCLA water main break on Sunset, one of the busiest surface streets in L.A. Credit: KTLA

Nationwide, water utilities are losing large amounts of water due to ancient pipes and leaky systems. The California drought would not be nearly  as severe if leaks were fixed and infrastructures upgraded. The water main that broke near UCLA in July, flooding buildings, was 93 years old. Los Angeles no doubt has many more such pipes waiting to rupture. Other cities do too. The cost nationwide to fix everything is estimated at one trillion. How much are we spending on wars? I guess that our priorities.

Nationwide, the amount of water that is lost each year is estimated to top 2 trillion gallons, according to the American Water Works Association. That’s about 14 to 18 percent (or one-sixth) of the water the nation treats.

And it’s not just water that’s going down the drain, but billions of dollars in revenue too because utilities can’t charge customers for water that is lost before it gets to them.

Insanely, many water utilities do not audit their systems and their customers do not have water meters. That needs to change immediately. You can’t go to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are now. Right now, many water utilities don’t even no exactly how much water they are losing.

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