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  • Greg Lane

What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing The Water Industry Today?

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Next-Gen works with professionals on the industry’s biggest challenges and concerns. We ask them all one simple question: What is the biggest challenge facing the water industry today?

  • Condition of water/wastewater infrastructure – The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave America’s infrastructure a “D” grade.

  • Lack of public appreciation for the value of water.

  • Funding for capital improvement projects – More than 40 percent of non-utility respondents believe the water industry is not prepared to meet financial needs.

  • Water scarcity/supply.

  • Replacing a retiring workforce.

  • Drought potential – Ten percent of respondents believe their home water service is not prepared for a drought of more than three years.

  • Customer/community relations – Outreach is needed to communicate the challenges of water stewardship and develop public support.

  • Recovering costs for service/investment – Eighty percent of utilities (water, wastewater, and combined systems) said they were not able to recover the full cost for providing service.

  • Government regulations – Utility personnel ranked PFAS and water supply management as the top regulatory concerns, followed by drought management .

  • Emergency planning and response.

  • Energy usage/cost.

  • Climate change – Only 20 percent of non-utility respondents feel the water industry is prepared for climate issues such as risk and resiliency.

  • Utility security – Worries include intentional water contamination and cybersecurity. What observations did you gather from the list of challenges cited? Which challenges are missing? Which ones are most relevant, troubling, or (one would hope) solvable? Please share your thoughts…

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