Americans’ Water Rates are Rising While Infrastructure Remains in Peril, Says New Survey
NEW YORK, May 10, 2016—The price Americans pay for municipal water is rising faster than any other city household expense, according to a new survey published today by Circle of Blue, the award-winning network of journalists and researchers that reports on water and worldwide resource issues.
Circle of Blue’s annual water rates survey, including data visualizations from Qlik, tracks prices for 30 major U.S. cities. At a time of increasing stress, utilities are trying to balance widespread conservation with earning enough revenue to reinvest and rebuild aging systems.
To put the situation in immediate context, Circle of Blue, American Public Media (APM), and Columbia University Water Center will convene a special national, interactive town hall Wednesday, May 11, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (EDT).
Facilitated by David Brancaccio of APM’s Marketplace, experts, journalists, and the public are invited to dig deep and explore the critical state of the nation’s water infrastructure — from what happens when pipes and policies fail to the opportunities for innovative finance, policy, and technology.
This comes as stakes are increasingly high for the country’s water and wastewater systems, and while escalating risks are driving water quality and supply to the top of the public agenda.
Leaky pipes waste trillions of gallons per year. Droughts and floods inflict deep financial wounds. Lead contamination in Flint and countless other cities is revealing the risks to public health and economic well-being because of outdated infrastructure that delivers and treats the nation’s water supplies.
“This era of change, a force of nature that all utilities must reckon with, is toppling old assumptions about how water systems ought to be operated,” writes reporter Brett Walton.
Water industry groups estimate that up to $1 trillion is needed over the next two decades just to repair old pipes nationwide.
“This is among the most important conversations of our era,” said J. Carl Ganter, Circle of Blue’s director. “How we manage our water supplies is a test of the nation’s civic, environmental, and economic resilience.”
Bring your voice
America ‘s Water: Infrastructure in Peril
What to do. How to fix it. How to finance it.
Interactive Town Hall
Wednesday, May 11
10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. (EDT)
Visit the website to register and learn more details.
There is no charge to participate.
Circle of Blue, the center for frontline reporting on water resource issues and their relationship to food and energy globally, is recipient of theRockefeller Foundation Centennial Innovation Award.