Millions of dollars are vanishing through Georgia's aging and poorly-maintained water infrastructure. Preliminary data from water audits of the state's largest water utilities show, the average utility is losing about $17 million a year because pipes are leaking water and meters aren't counting gallons correctly.
Birmingham, Alabama's Jefferson County is considering defaulting on loans for water and sewer projects. No Georgia county faces a similar problem. But revenues and financing options for big water and sewer upgrades are both drying up
A bill in the state Senate would make it easier for private companies to invest money in river infrastructure. State Sen. Ross Tolleson (R-Perry) is sponsoring the measure because he says local officials need flexibility in getting financing for reservoirs. He says the bill is aimed at new water infrastructure and not the Savannah harbor deepening project, for which state officials are urgently seeking funds.