DENVER — The state of water and wastewater infrastructure is the top current issue facing water professionals and those they serve, with long-term water supply second on the list, according to the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) 2014 State of the Water Industry Report, reported a press release.

The AWWA State of the Water Industry Report captures the most pressing water issues as expressed by more than 1,700 North American water experts and is available free of charge from AWWA’s website, noted the release.

The well-documented need to address aging drinking water and wastewater infrastructure has been a top area concern since the first State of the Water Industry Report in 2004, according to the release, and a 2012 AWWA study found that more than $1 trillion will be needed to replace and expand drinking water infrastructure alone over the next 25 years.

“The millions of miles of water and wastewater pipes running below our streets are essential today and for future generations,” said AWWA Executive Director David LaFrance. “They protect public health and the environment, provide fire protection, sustain our businesses and provide the everyday quality of life we enjoy. The 2014 State of the Water Industry Report makes clear that to help citizens and businesses we need workable finance solutions to manage these mounting costs in the years ahead.”

Last week, continued the release, more than 130 water professionals met with members of the U.S. Congress in Washington to advocate for funding of existing water finance tools and the creation of a new mechanism called a Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Authority being considered as part of the Water Resources Act currently in a conference committee.