AWWA launches ‘Buried No Longer’ financial forecasting tool

AWWALast week, as part of its observance of Infrastructure Week, the American Water Works Association announced the launch of its new Buried No Longer (BNL) tool.

The BNL online tool offers water and wastewater utilities the opportunity to accurately forecast the cost of their water and wastewater pipe repair and replacement needs. It provides cost estimates and financial deferrals based on inputted data by a utility and is broken down by pipe size or material. Twenty-nine graphical outputs are generated to create a profile that is reflective of a community’s unique infrastructure needs.

The tool comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this month that Congress will appropriate an additional $10 million for the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA). The additional amount brings WIFIA funding this year to $30 million, which can leverage an estimated $1.5 billion in federal loans.

Both the BNL tool and WIFIA come at a critical time for the water sector. “Our Buried No Longer tool and continued work on WIFIA demonstrates AWWA is committed to helping water utilities overcome water infrastructure challenges in their communities,” said Tracy Mehan, AWWA executive director of government affairs.

According to AWWA’s Buried No Longer report, repairing and replacing crumbling drinking water infrastructure will cost at least $1 trillion over the next 25 years because of aging water pipes.

Additionally, AWWA’s 2017 State of the Water Industry lists replacing and repairing deteriorating water infrastructure as the leading concern among surveyed water utilities in North America.

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