INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Officials in Indiana are trying to prevent a water crisis as both supply and
infrastructure are inadequate for future needs.
A 2016 survey found
that Indiana utilities have an immediate need for $2.26 billion to replace
water meters, hydrants, water mains, treatment plants, wells and other
physical infrastructure, The Journal Gazette reported.
According to each
system, the estimate is beyond the capacity of the utilities and customers
to finance without a new funding program.
Gov. Eric Holcomb
is now seeking to create a multi-agency working group to develop strategies
to manage the state’s water resources and infrastructure, and support
development of asset management plans for high-need water and wastewater
utilities. The group would also likely prepare recommendations for the
Legislature in 2019.
The Indiana Finance
Authority has also applied for a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation
Act loan of $436 million. It’s one of 12 potential borrowers.
The authority wants
to expand its Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund programs
and fund dozens of additional projects in communities across the state.
Discussions of a
water crisis began in 2014 when the Indiana Chamber of Commerce issued a
report calling for the development of a water resource plan to better
conserve and manage the state’s water supply.
“We’re trying to
avoid a crisis from happening,” said Greg Ellis, vice president of energy
and environmental policy of the chamber of commerce.