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Money Pit: The High Cost and High Risk of Water Supply Reservoirs in the Southeast

Ben Emanuel and Jenny Hoffner
Created: 12/18/2013 - Updated: 2/12/2019


We all need clean water. Securing reliable supplies of clean water for today and the future is a critical concern for communities across the country, and particularly in the Southeast where communities are grappling with water scarcity issues more than ever before. In a regional landscape defined by recent extreme droughts and continued conflict over water supply—and in the context of public budgets stretched thin—many communities are challenged to find the best way forward.

In this report, we outline five financial and resource-related risks tied to the pursuit of water supply reservoirs, document the lessons learned in recent years from financially difficult projects, and offer five key recommendations for a more prudent path forward.

Published On

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Sector Addressed: 
Water Resources
Target Climate Changes and Impacts: 
Water supply
Type of Adaptation Action/Strategy: 
Infrastructure, Planning, and Development

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