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State's water infrastructure needs could cost $80B over 20 years

Feb 14, 2017 6:45 am

Matthew Hamilton is reporting in the Times Union Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed $2 billion be used over five years to upgrade and protect drinking water statewide, but some estimates for the total cost of future water infrastructure needs are 40 times that amount. At a joint legislative budget hearing on environmental conservation held Mon., Feb. 13, in Albany, state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said the total need over two decades, for both drinking water and wastewater, is near $80 billion. At the same time, state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli's office estimated that the state's water systems may need roughly $40 billion for drinking water system repairs and improvements over 20 years. The comptroller also pointed to the need for a cybersecurity infrastructure to protect the state's water from sabotage. Seggos said Cuomo's $2 billion proposal would be used to leverage $10 billion in total funding for those water needs. "That's a significant investment, a significant chunk taken out of the overall need," he said. Seggos said his department is willing to work with the Legislature on how to direct the funding. Read the full story in the Times Union.