There are many important issues candidates have been discussing with the 2012 presidential election drawing near. One of the more important issues is also regrettably one of the more overlooked issues. The state of our nation's infrastructure is very worrisome. In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers made a report card for America's infrastructure and the grades were unacceptable. The average grade was a D.
Having abundant, safe drinking water is essential to life, but water systems are in trouble. Approximately 7 billion gallons of safe drinking water are lost every day as a result of leaking pipes. Facilities are nearing the end of their designed lives, and some do not comply with water regulations. And the demand for water is growing. The grade for drinking water was D-minus.
The nation's roads are also in need of improvement. Essential for trade and transportation, roads are an important part of the United States' infrastructure. The current layout of the road systems causes congestion, and poor road conditions cause fatal accidents. The design and the surfaces of the roads need to be improved. The grade for roads was D-minus.
Energy is necessary for the technologically advanced world we live in, but many areas experience blackouts and brownouts. With a growing population, the nation needs to invest in a reliable and affordable source of electricity. The grade for energy was D-plus.
The list continues. The ASCE graded 12 other important parts of the infrastructure in the United States, and their grades were not any better. Bridges, levees, hazardous waste, dams, schools and more, and nothing received a higher grade than a C-plus. People must consider how important our infrastructure is. It literally connects our country and keeps it running. And it is clearly in need of improvement. With the upcoming election, people should know the candidates' stances on infrastructure, and keep this in mind while voting.
Upper St. Clair