Decaying infrastructure and 154% more expensive – how water has become a luxury for Americans

Even for a working American, water bills are becoming a serious problem today.

Decaying infrastructure and 154% more expensive - how water has become a luxury for Americans

This was reported by The Guardian, which conducted a study of the crisis of water availability in 12 cities in the United States.

According to media reports, from 2010 to 2018, the total cost of water supply and sanitation in the United States increased by an average of 80%. At the same time, the water supply infrastructure is only becoming obsolete. Leading public services analyst Roger Colton complained that there is a problem of water availability in almost all US cities. He noted that this number has been increasing over the past decade.

“More people are in trouble, and the poorest of the poor are in big trouble”, – he warns.

A study by The Guardian shows that between 2010 and 2018, water bills rose by at least 27%. In Tucson, Arizona, the average annual water bill grew 119% to $ 869. In Austin, Texas, water prices rose 154%. Thus, in 2018, the average annual bill amounted to $ 1,435, compared to $ 566 in 2010. In San Diego, the average bill in 2018 was $ 1,416.

Mary Grant, human rights activist at Food and Water Watch, warns that water in the US is turning into “luxury for the benefit of the rich.”

“The water emergency threatens every corner of our country. The magnitude of this crisis does not require anything but the fundamental transformation of our water supply systems”, – she says.

However, despite appeals, the situation will only worsen. According to The Guardian, with current trends over the next 10 years, water bills in the US have reached such a level that citizens will not be able to pay them at all. At the same time, for debts they may well be deprived of housing.

So, the truck driver, 48-year-old Jerome Montgomery from Cleveland, was forced to borrow $ 30,000 from his relatives in order to pay the debt for the water that had accumulated since 2013 in order to avoid selling his house at a bankruptcy auction. However, he still owes $ 5,000, including fines and interest.

It is noteworthy that federal authorities are providing less and less support for utilities, which serve 87% of the population. At the same time, operating costs are rising, and maintenance projects are delayed due to lack of funds. This leads to the fact that infrastructure is being destroyed, accidents are becoming more frequent, and water quality is declining. According to analysts at Bluefield Research, over $ 6 billion worth of water is lost annually due to leaks.

“Costly low-quality water is a national issue … the federal government clearly does not play the role it needs to play”, – said Howard Neukrug, director of the University of Pennsylvania water center.


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