The federal government’s water treatment program has a lot of money, but it’s also getting less, according to an analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office.
In 2016, the program spent about $11 billion on water systems, and spent more than $3.8 billion in 2019.
The total spent in the program was about $20 billion, the analysis found.
The federal water treatment budget has dropped from $13.5 billion in 2014 to $10.3 billion in 2020, according the analysis.
As of last month, the federal water system spent $3,500 per person per day for water treatment.
That’s a drop of nearly $3 per person in a single year.
The budget data comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
“While the overall cost of the water system’s water services has declined, water systems that serve the most people, particularly rural households, have benefited the most,” said OMB Director Michael Pollan in a statement.
“The Office of Water’s data shows that the total cost of water treatment for these water systems fell by more than 9% between 2014 and 2019, and nearly $1 billion more per year.”
The water system data does not include the cost of treating the wastewater that comes out of a home’s well.
The Office of the Surgeon General said the cost was estimated to be $8.3 million per year.
“We are working to make sure the federal budget is being spent wisely, but at this point, the impact of the budget cuts to water treatment has been most pronounced for rural water systems,” said Dr. Robert Zwilling, the agency’s director of water and wastewater services.
Congressional Budget Office: Budget cuts hit water systems the hardest