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After the events of September 11, 2001, Congress appropriated over $140 million to help drinking water systems assess their vulnerabilities to terrorist threats and to develop response plans. Utilities are asking for additional funding, however, not only to plan security upgrades but also to support their implementation. This testimony is based on GAO's report, Drinking Water: Experts' Views on How Future Federal Funding Can Best Be Spent to Improve Security (GAO-04-29, October 31, 2003). Specifically, GAO sought experts' views on (1) the key security-related vulnerabilities affecting drinking water systems, (2) the criteria for determining how federal funds are allocated among drinking water systems to improve their security, and the methods by which those funds should be distributed, and (3) specific activities the federal government should support to improve drinking water security.

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