About 73,000 drinking-water systems across the U.S. need fixing, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and the cost to deal with it is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Las Vegas has started to upgrade its system, and the city could be a model for others, says Tufts University professor Shafiqul Islam, director of the school's Water Diplomacy Initiative. Several experts warn consumers that they will see rising water prices as municipalities begin to deal with the issue.

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