Aging US Water Infrastructure: The Role of the Private Sector

AECOM WhitepaperWater Design-Build Council member AECOM Technology Corporation, a leading provider of professional technical and management support services for public and private clients in more than 140 countries around the world, recently announced that it has published a white paper titled, “Fostering a Larger Private-Sector Role in United States Infrastructure.”

The paper examines the extent to which the nation’s infrastructure assets need urgent attention and/or repair as well as innovative funding mechanisms that can help address those needs, especially public-private partnerships (PPPs). AECOM supports the idea that PPPs, including design-build and construction management at-risk models, can provide an important avenue for advancing infrastructure projects and, consequently, improving the country’s long-term economic growth, competitiveness and quality of life.

The water sector is amongst the infrastructure verticals that is in desperate need of repair and investment. We recently shared the following statistics in one of our blogs:

  • The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that at least $9.4 billion worth of work on water infrastructure is needed by 2020 – and that more such incidents are on the horizon.
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in its 2011 Needs Survey (released in 2013), estimates the minimum investment required for repairs at $335 billion for fresh water and $298 billion for wastewater.
  • AWWA’s 2012 report, Buried No Longer: Confronting America’s Water Infrastructure Challenge, states that more than $1 trillion over the next 25 years is needed just for drinking water infrastructure, and another $1 trillion for wastewater.

Regardless of which source you choose to believe, the reality is that there is a pressing need for immediate and significant investment in our nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure. This investment simply cannot be met by the public sector alone, making it critical that viable models of public-private partnership be tested and promoted.

AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio shared the white paper with members of a Senate Democratic Caucus during a policy briefing on infrastructure in Washington, D.C., last week. The paper is available on AECOM’s website at, and an executive summary can be found at

Topics: AECOM, P3, Water Infrastructure/Treatment.

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