Have you been freaking out over your water bill lately? You are not alone.
In the last seven years, water utility prices have raised more than 50 percent on average in 30 large US cities since 2010, and if you are currently living in Austin, Texas, your rates have increased more than 150 percent.
According to Circle Blue, a nonprofit network of journalists and scientists who cover water issues, inflation rates vary from year to year. With an increase of only 4 percent on average, this year seems to the smallest yearly increase since Circle of Blue began collecting data in 2010.
The map above shows the average monthly cost for a family of four using 12,000 gallons water a month (the Environmental Protection Agency’s estimate use per household) However, these prices do not include sewer and stormwater fees, which can increase a family’s monthly bill by $100 or more.
And, as water rates continue to move upward, poorer Americans will struggle to pay their water bill, losing the access clean drinking water— a basic human right that it is becoming more and more a luxury in the United States due to the increasing lead contamination, reported Reuters.
Local governments rely on water fees to fund the maintenance and operation of expensive water systems, which now require a long overdue restoration that will cost at least one trillion dollars over the next 25 years. Not taking immediate action could easily double that amount, and exacerbate upcoming issues related to adaptation of our water systems to climate change, an estimated price tag of $14 trillion to $26 billion.
A serious water crisis is looming, and investing in new technological advances can not only help you prepare for the inevitable rise of water rates, but also alleviate the future welfare of many households and the productivity and competitiveness of your business.
Here in Los Angeles, business owners are encouraged to upgrade their facilities to water efficient fixtures such as our hybrid and waterless urinals through water rebates. By improving your commercial restrooms with these technologies, which use little to no water, you will also be saving money and maintenance costs.