Historical Perspective on Financing of Water Systems

I read a short paper this weekend titled “Water, Water, Everywhere : Municipal Finance and Water Supply in the American Cities” which was written from an economic perspective.

A couple of the main points from the paper:

1. Water service actually improved as the percent publicly owned water supply systems increased. For example, 20% of the water supply systems in 1830 were publicly owned. This increased to 70% in 1924.

2. The municipal bond market growth allowed municipalities to make massive investments in their water system. As a result, the number of municipal water systems in the United States, which remained at around 500 in 1880, increased to around 10,000 by 1924. Private water systems could not compete and many were purchased by municipalities.

So, without delay here is the Super Statistic for this Sunday: