Taps in Broward County, Fla., ran dry on Christmas Eve after a water main ruptured, highlighting the urgent need to replace South Florida's aging, deteriorated water infrastructure. Federal money for repairs is seldom enough because of the extent of upgrades required, which leaves utility users footing the bill through rate hikes. "It’s a balancing act for us," said Jennifer Messemer, spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. "Maintaining the quality of water and sewer services with being able to provide a cost-effective rate for our residents."

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