The old joke that Orlando’s tap water is some of the worst tasting could hold some actual merit.
A new study by the Environmental Protection Agency finds that, over the next 20 years, the state of Florida could require an estimated $16.5 billion in funding to maintain its drinking water supply as the population continues to grow.
Runoff from farms has been known to pollute water sources while Florida’s aging pipe infrastructure is prone to rupturing.
In fact, the Associated Press found that it could be an issue nationwide — replacing drinking systems around the country could cost $1 trillion over the next 25 years.
Further analysis by the AP uncovered that many states have up to $1 billion in unspent funding, intended for drinking water improvements. The study found this can often be the result of of poor management and structural issues plaguing many states.
However, this does not seem to be the case for Florida. The data show Florida has largely tapped into its drinking water fund, spending a good majority of the $615 million it has received to improve water infrastructure, because of the ballooning population.
The cost of renovating old pipe systems can be affordable in the short-term, but cause a number of headaches and cost a lot more in the long run.
Despite Florida’s efforts to enhance its water systems, many areas still use 100-year old pipes and it could cost billions to replace the intricate systems.
Meanwhile, the supply of groundwater is rapidly shrinking which means the state will eventually need to find other sources to fill the cup.