With increasingly tight budgets and competing priorities, it is vital to lean on the local experts to help municipal leaders make the best long-term investments.
With so much attention focused on the national level on what Congress will do to address our infrastructure needs, it’s critical to remember that local experts play a vital role in addressing our challenges. It’s the local leaders who know exactly what parts of our infrastructure is in imperil, and for years now, they have been warning about what’s buried in the ground.
The buried pipes that carry clean drinking water to our communities are some of the most vital infrastructure we have. But we don’t think about what we don’t see until something happens. We should, though. In fact, we should think about water infrastructure in the same way and with the same urgency with which we consider the bridges and roads we drive on every day. We expect bridges to last for decades, if not longer; we should have the same high expectation for our water systems.
To make this infrastructure last when it is put into the ground, it is important that design decisions are made at the local level. Local engineers and water system experts know the needs of our communities. They know, for example, the specific soil conditions and topography of our cities, each being unique. Local experts are the ones we should trust to choose the best water pipe material for the job – not politicians in Washington or in far removed state capitals. Our politicians, in most cases, don’t have the technical know-how to solve the puzzles of complex engineered integrated infrastructure systems.