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  • The analysis shows that the U.S has a water affordability problem, which has a direct impact on poverty rates.

    The analysis shows that the U.S has a water affordability problem, which has a direct impact on poverty rates. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 June 2020
Opinion

Water bills have increased greatly in the last couple of years.

About 12 U.S. cities could face a water affordability crisis, economist and utilities expert Roger Colton warned on Tuesday.

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An 88-page analysis conducted by Colton showed that, between 2010 and 2018, water and sewage costs in those cities rose an average of 80%. Also, water bills increased by between 27% and 154%, which has a direct impact on poverty rates.

"More people are in trouble, and the poorest of the poor are in big trouble, the data shows that we've got an affordability problem in an overwhelming number of cities nationwide that didn't exist a decade ago, or even two or three years ago in some cities," Colton said, noting that reforms at the federal level must be implemented.

The analysis comes as a part of a one-year series entitled America's Water Crisis, which aims primarily to investigate the connections between the U.S water crisis and poverty, inequality, and pollution.

Also, it seeks to track related federal legislation and conduct water quality testing in systems from all over the nation.

Besides, it projects that in the next ten years the situation could get even worst, for " in 2018, nearly three-quarters of low-income Santa Fe residents lived in neighborhoods with unaffordable water bills; by 2030, it could be 99%."

The analysis also stressed that the figures were similar for New Orleans: "79% of poor residents lived in neighborhoods with unaffordable bills in 2018 and that could rise to 93%."

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