A majority of Americans, 77 percent, are concerned about the state of U.S. water infrastructure, and 61 percent are willing to pay more to fix it. Despite this general consensus, few Americans are aware of their water consumption, or the extent to which water infrastructure problems could impact them personally. These findings are part of the 2012 Value of Water Index released today at the American Water Summit in Chicago by Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL), a leading global water technology company focused on addressing the world’s most challenging water issues. The 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index is the second installment of the Value of Water Study and is complemented by independent research from the Columbia Water Center.
The Xylem Value of Water Index, a nationwide poll of American voters detailing what they think should be done about the country’s water crisis and who should pay for it, also found that most Americans have been affected by water issues and hold all levels of government responsible for investing in water infrastructure. Key Index findings include:
- A growing number of voters - 88 percent - believe U.S. water infrastructure needs reform; an 8 percent increase since 2010.
- More than three-quarters of Americans are concerned about U.S. water infrastructure.
- Nearly 90 percent of Americans reported having personally felt the impact of water shortages and contamination.
- Despite recent rate increases, 61 percent of Americans are willing to pay a little more each month to upgrade U.S. water infrastructure. Americans are willing to pay an average of $7.70 more per month, up from $6.20 more per month in 2010.
- Eighty-eight percent of Americans believe that Federal, state or local government should be held accountable for fixing water infrastructure problems.
“We launched the 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index because we want to determine exactly what people think about water and what they are willing to do to ensure they have access to this vital resource,” said Gretchen McClain, Xylem’s president and CEO. “Keeping our water systems running efficiently to provide safe water to our citizens must become a national priority, and as the Index demonstrates, a majority of Americans agree. This unseen crisis must become a shared responsibility.”
According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), for every $10 billion spent on water-related projects, an additional 400,000 jobs could be created. Xylem believes the water industry must play a leadership role in raising public awareness of the nation’s decaying water infrastructure. Xylem supports full water pricing and the development of conservation and reuse incentives on both an individual and corporate level.