About 65% of the water and wastewater systems serving the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the United States plan to hire design or construction firms to work on projects directly related to homeland security, according to ZweigWhite, a Natick, Mass.-based management consulting and publishing firm. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandated in June 2002 that large municipal water systems perform vulnerability assessments. Now that the assessments are complete, the systems are beginning to invest in security upgrades, increased security patrols, and capital improvement projects. According to ZweigWhite's report, “2003-2006 Municipal Water and Wastewater Market for Construction and Design Firms,” the most significant opportunities for design and construction firms will be large municipal water and wastewater systems.