A majority of New Yorkers, 82 percent, believe upgrading water and wastewater systems should be the main infrastructure focus for the city; two-thirds are willing to pay higher rates to see this happen. These findings were part of the 2012 Value of Water Index, a national survey on Americans’ perceptions of water , and were released today by Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL), a leading global water technology company.
- 70 percent of New Yorkers believe the U.S. water infrastructure system needs major reform or a complete overhaul.
- 63 percent of New Yorkers are willing to pay an average of $8.30 more per month to finance water infrastructure upgrades.
- This would mean approximately $188 million more per year for the city’s water infrastructure.
- Nearly all New Yorkers, 91 percent, are concerned about our nation’s water infrastructure.
- More than three-quarters of New Yorkers, 77 percent, would demand policymakers take action to address this issue, compared with 57 percent nationally.
“We launched the 2012 Xylem Value of Water Index to determine exactly what people think about water and what they are willing to do to ensure access to this vital resource,” said Gretchen McClain, Xylem president and CEO. “The New York data shows that New Yorkers are even more concerned about water infrastructure issues than the rest of the country, and they’re willing to do more to address the issue, and this is great news for the city’s water.”
New York City, through the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), has made significant investments in water infrastructure projects. Xylem recognizes and applauds this foresight, but New Yorkers still have cause for concern: city water systems are 150 years old, making them some of the oldest in the world. With an average daily demand of 1.2 billion gallons, they are also some of the largest. This combination of age and demand is straining the ability of these systems to function properly. In 2008, the New York State Department of Health estimated New York City’s 20-year capital needs to be more than $28 billion, nearly 75 percent of the estimate for the entire state ($38.7 billion).