WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — ITT Corp. announced the results of its Value of Water Survey, a nationwide poll that included registered voters and industrial and agricultural businesses, and measures how the public values water and their level of awareness of the nation’s aging water infrastructure. The results show that a majority of the American public desires reform and is willing to pay more now to ensure that they have access to clean water in the generations to come.
The survey found that nearly one in four American voters is “very concerned” about the state of the United States’ water infrastructure. In fact, the nation’s pipes, treatment and delivery systems — everything that gets clean water to homes and takes dirty water away — are crumbling under the combined pressures of population growth, urbanization, and chronic underinvestment. Every day in America, 650 water mains break, or one every two minutes. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, these breaks and other leaks result in the loss of roughly 1.7 trillion gallons of water every year — enough to supply water to 68 million Americans.
“Water is a necessity, but our survey confirms that most people take access to clean tap water for granted,” said Gretchen McClain, president of ITT Corp.’s Fluid and Motion Control business. “Indeed, water is one critical issue missing from the national infrastructure debate. Yet when presented with the facts, Americans recognize a looming crisis and are willing to pay their share to properly maintain the systems that bring clean water into their homes.”
ITT’s survey revealed that 63 percent of all American voters are willing to pay an average of 11 percent more on their water bill each month to help ensure continued access to a reliable and consistent supply of clean water. When applied across all American households, this increase is equal to $5.4 billion — or four times the FY 2009 federal investment in our nation’s drinking water systems. In addition, a majority of industrial and agricultural businesses surveyed are willing to pay an average of 7 percent more per month for the water they consume.
Most survey respondents also said that fixing our insufficient water infrastructure must be a national priority and is a shared responsibility between individuals, business, and the government.
“We all have a role to play, starting with more efficient use and conservation of water,” McClain said. “Citizens and businesses need to understand that the delivery of clean water comes at a price and we need to value that clean water accordingly. Government can enact environmentally effective, economically sustainable, and fair water policies that ensure proper investment in the infrastructure for future generations."
Among the survey findings, ITT learned that:
The survey results align with the facts about the state of our nation’s water infrastructure and the challenges inherent in resolving this potential crisis:
To view the full results of the survey, visit www.itt.com/valueofwater.