As AWWA prepares to disseminate surveys for the 2019 State of the Water Industry Report, it’s a good time to look back at the 2018 report and revisit some of the concerns reported. How much has changed in the past six months, and are we still headed in the predicted direction?

The 2018 results conveyed that many of the concerns today are reminiscent of those expressed in 2004. Some of those include:

Infrastructure – Financing for capital improvements to maintain or replace aging infrastructure and/or navigate community growth has been top of the list for the past four years. In May, the White House reported that the $1.5 trillion proposal unveiled in February would likely not advance by the end of 2018.

Long-term Water Supply – Supply of water continues to be a concern for numerous industry professionals and is especially the case for the Midwest region due to this summer’s drought. Whereas innovation seems to be a practical solution, it is noted that support for innovation, including financial, is not readily available.

Other topics that were revealed in the 2018 survey are cybersecurity, which jumped from a ranking of 26 in 2017 to 13, and the slow but steady health decline of the water industry, including increased difficulties of attracting talent.

More of the summary can be read on the AWWA website.