Water Affordability Affects Low-Income U.S. Communities

Poor and minority communities are at risk of losing access to affordable drinking water as the costs of upgrading aging infrastructure and droughts send water prices higher across many cities.

According to China Daily, in 2020, research conducted with co-author Diego Cardoso, an economist from Purdue University, Wichman noted that the cost of water services in the US is rising three times faster than inflation. In addition, water infrastructure will require an investment of more than $1 trillion over the next 20-25 years.

Almost 14 percent of households have water and sewer expenditures that were greater than 4.5 percent of their annual household incomes. For the poorest households, the water bills made up on average 8.1 percent of their annual income, the study found.

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