NEW YORK - The U.S. water, sewer, and drainage utility sector continues to face the challenge of financing its infrastructure investments, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said Tuesday in a report.

Utilities will have a tough year addressing these issues due to funding constraints, according to the report, titled "Funding Long-Term Needs Remains The Biggest Risk For U.S. Municipal Water And Sewer Utilities."

"We believe the funding of long-term needs will pose the biggest test for utilities," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Theodore Chapman.

As local economies start to recover, utilities will need to secure a long-term water supply, which will make it harder to follow their long-term capital plans by allocating limited capital dollars among competing high-priority projects.

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