Water Is
Your Business

The unseen challenges eroding our economic foundation

What you need to know

Water infrastructure is the circulatory system of our country

Its scale is enormous

And it's 30 times the length
of the interstate highway system1, 2

But it's approaching a state of crisis

Too much of our infrastructure is3

Leaks and breaks
are increasing as our pipes age

Exponential population growth
has strained the system

The water leaked across the nation
every day could supply California

Let's go deeper

Our pipes are outdated4,5,6

Most of our water
infrastructure is from
the first half of the 20th century

  • The average age of broken water main is 47 years
  • Nearly a quarter of all water mains are more than50 years old

We've outgrown our system

Our pipes are overused3


1950 2010 2030

Population growth
is straining our nation's
water infrastructure.

Find out how your
state is affected.

Investment isn't keeping pace

Our pipes are underserviced6,7

Deferred Maintenance &
delayed pipe replacement are
having a real impact

10% of all pipes are in poor shape.

What are we losing?

The costs are real3,8

That's 240,000 breaks each year

16% of Treated Water Never Reaches the Tap

Losses that could be avoided

And that's just the start

Over the next 20 years,

More than $650 Billion8, 9

Is needed to move us in the right direction.
Most of this investment must be made in communities like yours.

Waiting is not an option

Waiting means

Repair and replacement costs increase over time

More flooding, sinkholes and loss of service

Compromising water quality and water access for firefighters

Losing precious water and energy resources

But challenges create opportunities

Each $1B invested means10, 11

28,500 new jobs

Contributes to $3.46 billion in activity

Using modern technology saves money in the long run

Be part of the solution

Make Water Your Business

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About The Campaign

Water is Your Business – a campaign by the National Association of Water Companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – seeks to engage businesses, water infrastructure stakeholders and community leaders on the value of sustainable water provision, the benefits of investing in water infrastructure for the whole community, and potential solutions in delivering sustainable water systems.

We are active in public policy issues, creating national and local dialogues that provide business and community leaders with the tools and resources needed to meaningfully participate in the discussion on water infrastructure needs – with the ultimate goals of enhanced water system performance, job creation, economic growth and environmental quality.

The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) is the public voice for more than one hundred private water companies, ranging from large investor-owned utilities to small, community-based providers. Seventy-three million Americans – nearly one in four – receive service from a private water service provider.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.


Additional Resources

Growing Blue

Growing Blue was created to tell the important story of how water is as essential to our economic and social growth as it is to ensuring healthy ecosystems and our natural environment.

Circle of Blue

Founded in 2000 by leading journalists and scientists, Circle of Blue provides relevant, reliable, and actionable on-the-ground information about the world’s resource crises.

Water for Jobs: Water Puts America to Work

The Water Puts America to Work campaign is a partnership of leading water associations, organizations and companies working together to ensure that Congress and the President make investment in water infrastructure a national priority.

End Notes

1.Highway Statistics Series

U.S. Department of Transportation, 2011

3.Confronting America’s Water Challenge

Urban Land Institute, 2010

6.Water Main Break Rates In the USA and Canada

Utah State University Buried Structures Laboratory, 2012

8.Infrastructure Report Card

American Society of Civil Engineers, 2013

10.Assistance, Quality, and Affordability Act of 2010

The Library of Congress, 2010

11.Sudden Impact: Assessment of Short-Term Economic Impacts of Water and Wastewater Projects in the United States1,2

Clean Water Council, 2009