According to data collected and published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal, state and local governments in the United States spent more than $2.2 trillion in the last 59 years on operations, maintenance and capital infrastructure of water and wastewater utilities. That equates to more than $4,131,000,000,000 in 2014 dollars, adjusting for inflation of infrastructure-specific costs. Following our earlier blog post demonstrating that federal spending on water and wastewater utilities decreased since the 1980s, we analyzed the data and identified 4 more trends in how government spending on utilities changed between 1956 and 2014.
Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
A couple of months ago, we blogged that water utilities’ operating revenues are generally continuing to grow every year, but that there was a slowdown of revenue increases in recent years, particularly after 2008. At the same time, expenses are also rising. Does this mean that expenses have caught up to revenues and that the majority of utilities are now experiencing revenue shortfalls?