Report says La. needs $5 billion to maintain quality water infrastructure
BATON ROUGE - An audit released Monday morning revealed more details about Louisiana's crumbling water infrastructure.
The report was triggered by a recent report card by the American Society of Civil Engineers, that rated the state's drinking water infrastructure as a 'D+,' meaning that the infrastructure is poor and crumbling.
The audit stated that the Louisiana Public Service Commission needs to improve the timeliness of rate reviews for private water systems. From fiscal years 2013 to 2015, LPSC did not approve 20% of the requested rate increases, which is require by the Louisiana Constitution.
Better coordination between the LPSC and the Department of Health would help ensure that the Commission is regulating rates for all systems. The auditors office identified 14 water systems that LPSC did not approve initial rates, as required by the state's Constitution.
In 2011, the EPA projected that Louisiana would need to spend $5.3 billion dollars over 20 years for drinking water infrastructure.
The audit looked into 212 out of 850 water systems in Louisiana. Around half of the investigated systems had expenses that exceeded the revenue.
Aging infrastructure and water loss likely contributed to those deficits.
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