The U.S. must confront a first-world water crisis
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The U.S. must confront a first-world water crisis

When we talk about the impending global water crisis, we tend to think of developing countries struggling to find clean water. However, the developed world is also at risk in the coming years of a water crisis of its own. According to a paper from researchers at Michigan State University, water prices in the U.S. will have to increase by a shocking 41% over the next three years to replace aging water infrastructure and adapt the water supply to deal with climate change. That risks making clean water unaffordable for almost 41 million American households – a third of the country’s total population.

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Despite the fact that access to clean water is a basic human right, there is no legislation in place that guarantees water access for poor Americans. And most financial assistance is left to the discretion of individual water utilities. As a result, numerous American families have lost access to water – in Detroit alone, over 50,000 households have been unable to pay their bills and been cut off.

Following the Second World War, America updated the bulk of its water infrastructure, building networks of water pipes in cities across the country. But these pipelines are now in excess of 60 years old, and in dire need of repair. Water technology companies like Xylem Inc. are at the forefront of this field – but it is down to government to fund it.

Disclosure

Dominion holds a number of water technology companies, such as Xylem Inc. and Halma PLC, in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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