Water Sector News

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Water Cybersecurity Dispute Reveals Infrastructure Problem

Aug 25, 2023

The dispute may seem small and technical, but the implications are far-reaching. An argument over cybersecurity currently playing out in federal court in the Upper Midwest is really about one of our most pressing crises: failing infrastructure and the fact that no one wants to pay to replace it. It underscores the shortcomings of our current, ad hoc, politically polarized approach and the need to do better. Infrastructure is a permanent problem; it demands permanent solutions.


At immediate issue is whether the Environmental Protection Agency can require water systems to inspect and report on their cyber defenses against hackers, cyberterrorists and foreign state actors. The proposed requirement, part of the Biden administration’s move toward a national cybersecurity strategy, assumes that these water systems actually have cyber defenses, or if not, seeks to make them mandatory.

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