The Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association hired Public Sector Consultants (PSC) to 1) assess the level of water infrastructure investment needed to bring systems and facilities statewide up to current standards and 2) determine whether current investments made by communities across the state are sufficient to meet the challenge. The analysis focuses only on capital investment needs for water infrastructure; it does not include an assessment of operations and maintenance expenses or debt services.

To conduct the analysis, PSC drew on many data sources that provide information on municipal spending and borrowing, state-administered loan programs, and estimates of water infrastructure investment needs. The report is divided into two sections: 1) drinking water investment needs and 2) wastewater and stormwater infrastructure.

Drinking Water

The analysis shows that Michigan communities invest about $450 million annually in drinking water infrastructure. However, this investment falls short of long-term investment needs which are projected between $731 million and $1.01 billion every year until 2030. Michigan communities need to invest an additional $284–$563 million annually to continue to provide safe drinking water to the state’s residents.

Wastewater and Stormwater

Compared to drinking water estimates, stormwater and wastewater figures are much murkier. Unfortunately, there is not a comprehensive estimate that accurately reflects the total long-term costs to ensure that Michigan communities are adequately managing wastewater and stormwater.

Michigan communities have reported $2.14 billion in sewer infrastructure needs. However, this figure significantly underreports long-term investment needs. The state’s recent initiatives to collect additional information on sewer infrastructure through the Stormwater, Asset Management, and Wastewater Program will provide a wealth of information regarding the condition of existing systems and help communities identify their long-term needs. Once more information becomes available, the state and communities can better evaluate how much additional funding may be necessary to ensure that wastewater and stormwater infrastructure are adequately funded.

A copy of the full report is available below.