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Competition in Water Infrastructure

Today, CEI released a report on how increased competition could make a big difference in the cost to taxpayers for upgrading water infrastructure. Water main breaks and leaking water supply pipes cost American taxpayers billions of dollars every year in lost water and repair costs. In addition, upgrades will be costly. Cohen notes: “Building and replacing water and sewage lines alone will cost some $660 billion to $1.1 trillion,” over the next 20 years.

Unfortunately, many cities do not allow some of the most innovative products to compete for contracts for replacement piping, particularly pipe made with PVC despite the fact that it represents a market innovation that is more affordable and durable. Our paper, authored by scholar Bonner Cohen with the National Center for Public Policy Research, addresses how by simply allowing all technologies to compete for contracts, local governments could save taxpayers a bundle!