When we talk about water, there are so many different aspects that we can get into. The one that affects us all is municipal drinking water. This is the city water that so many of us drink. Or, that some might avoid drinking. It is what the city provides for our homes and commercial and industrial buildings. This is water that needs to be safe for all of us to use. When we look at the conditions and the infrastructures put in place, we are forced to look at the current landscape of potable water.

At the Source — Municipal Drinking Water

In the United States and most developed countries, water is supplied to household and other buildings using underground pipes. Before the water is brought in and consumed, it is processed and treated. This way, drinking standards are met and the water is safe for consumers. The municipal drinking water is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States. Coming from our faucets, this is the water we use to shower, wash dishes and cooking. Less than 1% is actually used for human consumption, such as drinking or food preparation.

Demands for Infrastructure

Right now, the water management practices are being challenged. For one, evolving the water system is in high demand. With new housing on the rise and outdated systems put in place, the industry has to change. In order to survive this current state of growth, the water plants and companies must grow to meet demands. Also of note, digital advances are greatly sought after too. According to an article on waterworld.com, investments, and spending for improved networks, materials, and labor, have increased by 57% since 1990. We’re essentially playing “catch-up”. But, within this game, we’ll soon be getting ahead in a manner that will place a burden on ratepayers—who are already seeing an increase in some cities.

Smart Technologies

The world is changing. We are now more digitally engaged than ever. This needs to transfer onto old operating systems. Slowly, the municipal utility sector will become more comfortable with software to help service and cloud-based offerings. AI will be used to “smarten” water systems. Adding this could save billions of dollars. With more advanced systems put into place, it could help water utilities avoid $41.9 billion in capital expenditures by 2027. This is all according to Water World journalist, Reese Tisdale. Right now, there is a lot of room for improvement in our municipal water systems. In order to provide safe, potable water, our systems must meet the advancements of our society. Basically, there is a lot of work to be done still. But, with investments and innovators, these goals will soon be met.