Guest Column | September 13, 2023

5 Drinking Water Conveyance Capital Projects In The U.S. Starting In 2024

By David Cox, PE


The American Water Works Association (AWWA) predicts that most drinking water infrastructure will need to be fixed or replaced before 2040, initiating the “replacement era”. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the nation’s drinking water infrastructure system a C- in its 2021 infrastructure report card. In fact, The U.S. needs to invest $109 billion per year in 2019 dollars over the next 20 years to close the drinking water infrastructure gap, as estimated by the ASCE in The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure report released in 2020.

There has certainly been an influx of federal funding. The Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) Program has provided $11.1 billion in loans for numerous regionally and nationally significant water infrastructure projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) allocates vast amounts of money, including the:

  • Drinking Water State Revolving Fund, appropriating $11.71 billion to expand the existing distribution systems and replace or construct new drinking water conveyance facilities.

  • Aging Infrastructure Account, directing $3.2 billion to fund extraordinary maintenance work.

  • Water & Groundwater Storage and Conveyance, allocating $1.15 billion for water storage, groundwater storage, and conveyance projects.

FirmoGraphs monitors infrastructure projects from their inception, beginning with the conceptual phase and continuing until they achieve operational status. We maintain this data in a centralized database and convey it through dynamic dashboards and maps. This approach empowers us to offer strategic business insights to various stakeholders in the market, such as U.S. infrastructure contractors, architects, engineers, and consultants, enabling them to seize a competitive edge. This article covers five (5) examples of large drinking water conveyance projects coming soon to a utility near you.

Location of five large drinking water conveyance projects for 2024. Source: FirmoGraphs

5 Drinking Water Conveyance Projects In The U.S.

FirmoGraphs analyzed capital improvement plans (CIPs) of thousands of public agencies across the U.S. and selected five projects, which:

  • were developed by five different agencies at the County/City level;

  • have a minimum value of $50 million; and

  • are expected to start construction in 2024.

Project Summaries

Raw Water 2nd Atoka Pipeline

The Raw Water 2nd Atoka Pipeline is a major potable water conveyance project undertaken by Oklahoma City to transport water from Lake Atoka to Lake Stanley Draper. The project involves the construction of a 100-mile-long and 72-inch-diameter pipeline parallel to the existing Atoka Pipeline, which will increase water capacity from 80 million gallons per day (MGD) to 111 MGD. The project is expected to start construction in 2024 at approximately $149 million.

Alvarado 2nd Extension Pipeline

The City of San Deigo, California, is developing the Alvarado 2nd Extension Pipeline project to extend and replace old water pipelines in the Mission Valley, Mission Bay, and Linda Vista areas. The project consists of installing new 24- and 48-inch transmission mains, as well as replacing 16-inch distribution mains. The project will also construct a new pressure-reducing station near Friars Road. The project, covering a total distance of approximately 10.32 miles, costs $127 million and is anticipated to start construction in 2024.

36" Canyon Waterline Replacement

The 36" Canyon Waterline Replacement is a significant water conveyance infrastructure project proposed by the City of Ogden, Utah. The 87-year-old shot coat steel and concrete water line is beyond its life expectancy and experiencing substantial water loss. The project will replace the existing 4.2-mile-long, 36-inch Canyon water line. The project is scheduled to start construction in 2024 at $87 million.

County Water District #1 – Alternate Water Supply

Westchester County, New York, proposed a project to provide an alternate water supply connection for the 48-inch Kensico Bronx Pipeline (KBP) in County Water District #1 (CWD#1).  The project aims to provide two ultraviolet disinfection facilities in White Plains to serve the northern portion of the KBP, bringing all of CWD#1 into compliance with the mandated U.S. EPA regulations. The project is anticipated to begin construction in 2024, costing $75 million.

Arden Service Area Water Mains & Meters – Phases 1B & 4-6

The Sacramento County Water Agency (SCWA) has embarked on a comprehensive project in Sacramento County, California, focused on replacing water mains and installing new meters. The project will upgrade the water distribution system by installing approximately 38 miles of new distribution pipelines to increase system capacity, reliability, and meters for all service connections. This extensive project is being executed in a phased manner, with eight phases. Phase 1A was completed in 2018-2019, followed by Phase 2A in 2020, Phase 2B spanning from 2021 to 2022, and Phase 3 slated for execution in 2023-2024. Looking ahead, the remaining phases, namely Phases 1B and 4 through 6, are on the schedule for construction from 2023 to 2025, with an estimated cost exceeding $50 million.

Dave Cox is the president and founder of FirmoGraphs, a business focused on applying Business Intelligence (BI) to North American industrial and utility operations (see He earned a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MS from the University of Texas at Austin in environmental engineering. He is a California Professional Civil Engineer. Dave has spent his 30-year career doing engineering, marketing, and sales work with asset-intensive organizations in the energy, water, oil, and technology industries. He is passionate about using data to help North American industry make better decisions to improve both financial performance and the environment.