As we ignore the signs that the underpinnings of the environment we have inherited are breaking down—global warming, pollution, oceans dying—so as it goes with the underpinnings of the environment we created: our water and sewer systems, our roads and highways are crumbling. If we adopt other ways of getting around such as high-speed rail or maybe ‘hover’ cars, we can let our highways goes and move on to something else, as is our species way.
But, regardless of how we design our future, we are going to need the systems that bring in our fresh water and take away our used water to be sound. I have my doubts that we will be able to address the issue of a widespread deterioration of our water and sewer systems because: it will cost a lot of money and isn’t an issue that grabs public attention, it will be politically unpopular because we need so much public money to go elsewhere, and because this issue has been foretold long ago and little has been done about it.
Basically, unless we can retrofit an economic boon to a looming disaster (as we are now doing with energy and conservation issues) we are dysfunctional. Overcoming the costs and recriminations that will come as various parts of our system fail in various localities on an issue that is literally underground and out of our sight and one that we have been ignoring for decades means we are going to let it go until a disaster occurs.
It’s the way we react to problems involving the underpinnings of our environment. I applaud the Comptrollers efforts, but little will be done. This story will go away again and keep going way until it’s in our face.
Read on... DiNapoli: New York’s Local Infrastructure Needs Projected To Be $80 Billion Under Funded Over Next 20 Years Multi-Year Capital Planning and Increased Federal Funding Needed Driscoll Joins DiNapoli at News Conference in Syracuse At the current rate of spending, New York will have $80 billion in unmet infrastructure needs over the next 20 years unless state, federal and local governments work together to improve multi-year capital planning and better fund infrastructure projects, cautioned State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli in a report he released today in Syracuse. DiNapoli’s report estimates the state’s capital needs for repairing roads, bridges, and water and sewer lines will swell to a quarter trillion dollars over the next 20 years. (August 11, 09) New York State Office of the State Comptroller