Here's one I'll bet you didn't know. Last week, the local news in Washington, D.C., showed pictures of a major water-main break in suburban Maryland. It seems to happen a lot, not only in the Washington area but, according to NTU, hundreds of times each year around the country. NTU estimates the breaks cost taxpayers $3 billion annually, not counting costs associated with traffic tie-ups, emergency equipment, lost time and depleted water supplies.???
What could be done to save money when it comes to broken water mains? Corrosion is the main cause of the breaks due to old metallic pipes. NTU estimates the broken pipes are a $50.7 billion drain on the economy, not including the cost from lost water due to leaking or broken pipes.???
Utilities have generally replaced old corroded pipes with new ones made of the same or similar materials, which also corrode. Other non-corrosive options are available, and NTU estimates they could save between 30 percent and 70 percent on capital improvement plans. Since localities spent $103 billion on water supply and sewerage programs in 2009, that's a lot of savings. Read all about it at ntu.org.???
All governments should be regularly audited by outside auditors. Their sole interest should be saving taxpayers money. Any program or agency that wastes money ought to be updated or eliminated. If taxpayers don't force big government at the state and federal levels to go on a diet, the bloating will only continue to the detriment of our economic health.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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