In the last year, federal lawmakers have allocated more than $10 billion for water infrastructure programs, one of the largest such commitments in history.
But Mr. Hawkins and others say that even those outlays are almost insignificant compared with the problems they are supposed to fix. An E.P.A. study last year estimated that $335 billion would be needed simply to maintain the nation’s tap water systems in coming decades. In states like New York, officials estimate that $36 billion is needed in the next 20 years just for municipal wastewater systems.
These are staggering numbers. It's a national disgrace that our national priorities are such that these domestic issues are so neglected.