An incremental decrease of community water supply systems supports the effectiveness of local-decision making as environmental and financial landscapes change over the course of time.
According to the US EPA Echo database, there has been a reduction of 336 systems in the last year from the 50,067 in 2018 to the latest inventory number of 49,731. This is a continued trend from the 2000 inventory number of 54,064 community water supplies. This reduction can be attributed to two primary reasons: urbanization and consolidations within the industry.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a place is "urban" if it's a big, modest or even small collection of people living near each other. This definition includes Houston, with its 4.9 million people, and Bellevue, Iowa, with its 2,543. The U.S. Census Bureau statistic shows the degree of urbanization in the United States from 2000 to 2050. In 2015, about 82.7 percent of the total population in the United States lived in urban areas. Projections estimate that the corresponding figure in 2050 will be 87.4 percent.
It can be summarized that expansion of population centers into what used to be considered rural areas fuels local- decision making for consolidation of small systems such as mobile home parks and individual development owned systems; thus, reducing the number of community water supplies in the inventory.