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AWWA Releases Survey on Impacts to the Water Sector from COVID-19

The American Water Works Association has released a recent survey (survey period March 25-30) on the impacts to the water sector from the COVID-19 pandemic. Given everyone’s increased response efforts, the survey response was impressive, with 615 responses, including 532 from utilities.

The takeaways from this survey show that utilities are responding quickly to the COVID-19 crisis to ensure essential operations and business continuity:

  • 97% of utilities surveyed have plans to continue essential field and plant operations
  • 95% have implemented or are assessing options for staff shift change policies to incorporate social distancing
  • Over half the systems surveyed anticipate workforce absenteeism will impact operations within the next months
  • Nearly 64% indicated they expect revenue/cash flow challenges within the next 2 months
  • More than 90% have suspended water shut-offs and nearly 2/3rd suspended late payment fees
  • Utilities are communicating to the public that drinking water is safe and what can be flushed down toilets
  • Some utilities indicated that lack of access to sampling sites will impact ability to meet regulatory requirements
  • About 80% of service providers are anticipating revenue generation/cash flow challenges in the coming months