The United States has a high level of water utility fragmentation. There are many small providers and utilities spread throughout various states, cities, districts, and zones.
This system has made it water infrastructure management difficult and multi-layered. However, some utilities have begun to see benefits in merging or consolidating to make management easier.
“Consolidation is the need of the hour in the fragmented U.S. water utility space. Water Utility operation is highly fragmented in the United States and there are a very small number of operators serving only a few hundred customers. It becomes very difficult for these small operators or municipalities to make large investments to upgrade and expand their water and wastewater infrastructure.
It is easier for large companies to make arrangements for funds to carry out these major overhauls. Consolidation would therefore drive the necessary infrastructure overhauls that have become imperative for the industry at large.”
Since the acquisition of Pennsylvania American Water of Exeter Township wastewater in 2018, the company provided the much-needed water upgrades of Exeter’s aging water infrastructure, starting with its wastewater system.
In May 2020, Pennsylvania American Water announced additional investments to rehabilitate several water storage tanks in areas serviced by the company for 2020 to ensure a stable supply of potable water and fire protection to its customers.
Aging water infrastructure is a significant problem in the US.
Large numbers of pipelines that are close to their end-of-life service result in breakages that affect water supply and cause a potential for water contamination problems.
Through consolidation, critical upgrades become possible for these small service water providers, which would otherwise be difficult and costly for them to do.
Infrastructure is weighing on the minds of many in the USA and is a constant point of struggle.
What needs to happen and how to make it happen to continue to cause tension between the public, the utilities, and the government, both state and federal.
Consolidation is certainly a step to be considered for beginning to solve the problem of how to fix the country’s decaying infrastructure.
Infrastructure management planning can assist in assessing the issues, risks, life cycle management challenges, and projected costs.
Infrastructure management planning can also help communities in analyzing the benefits, risks, and issues associated with any consolidation proposals.