As if California didn’t already have enough water issues to worry about right now, last week Los Angeles lost more than 20 million gallons – a day’s worth for at least 100,000 people – when a pipe that was installed a century ago finally broke. But it turns out geriatric pipes aren’t just a problem for the City of Angels. Aging infrastructure means that nationwide, pipes hemorrhage seven billion gallons of treated drinking water each day; enough to meet the daily water needs of the entire state of California.

From ABC News:

Much of the piping that carries drinking water in the country dates to the first half of the 20th century, with some installed before Theodore Roosevelt was in the White House.

Age inevitably takes a toll. There are 240,000 breaks a year, according to the National Association of Water Companies, a problem compounded by stress from an increasing population and budget crunches that slow the pace of replacement.

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Which is why the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave U.S. water infrastructure a D grade last year, and the EPA says we need a $384 billion upgrade. Or, you know, as ASCE said in their report, we could do nothing and live with water shortages and higher rates.

Anybody know a good plumber?

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