Current water rates in the U.S. are unaffordable for many low-income households. The problem is only likely to worsen as aged water and wastewater systems struggle to finance necessary repairs.
Water rates in the United States have been increasing at a rate faster than inflation since the 1980’s and are estimated to increase sharply over the next 20 years as aged water and wastewater systems struggle to finance the repair standards for contaminants. While current water services are unaffordable for many low-income consumers, the problem will only get worse with the additional cost of replacing water and wastewater infrastructure and complying with Safe Drinking Water Act measures.
Report: Review and Recommendations for Implementing Water and Wastewater Affordability Programs in the United States, March 2014
Comments (Aug 23, 2013) and Reply Comments (Sept. 13, 2013) of National Consumer Law Center and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) to the California Public Utility Commission re: Draft Staff Report on Balanced Rate Rulemaking re: affordable water rates.
Comments (Mar. 1, 2012) and Reply Comments (Mar. 22, 2012) of NCLC and The Utility Reform Network (TURN) to the California Public Utilities Commission re: water affordability rates in high cost areas, Mar. 1, 2012
Comments: on EPA’s proposal to lower water quality standards for distressed small water systems in the name of affordability (Docket Id. No. OW-2005-005), May 2006
NCLC Report: Soaking Tenants: Billing Tenants Directly For Water and Sewer Services, Energy & Utility Update, Fall 2003
Recommendations of the National Drinking Water Advisory Council to U.S. EPA on its National Small Systems Affordability Criteria, July 2003
NCLC's Energy and Utility Publications and Resources