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by Neal Walters, Public Policy Institute, November, 2011
Replacing the Nation’s Deteriorating Water Infrastructure While Maintaining Affordable Water Rates written by Neal Walters of the PPI Consumer and State Affairs team explores concerns about replacing the nation’s rapidly aging water infrastructure while keeping water rates affordable for consumers.
Water and wastewater systems are vital to the nation’s public health, protecting the environment, and supporting economic activities. However, much of the drinking water and wastewater infrastructure in the nation is at or near the end of its useful life. As such, it is necessary to replace and upgrade the deteriorating water infrastructure so it can meet the needs of the nation.
Keeping water rates affordable for consumers is an important issue as water rates are increasing at a much faster pace than inflation or other utility rates. This is a particular hardship for those with low incomes or on fixed incomes as the percentage of their income needed to pay their water bill increases. As a result, policymakers and regulators are seeking ways to keep water rates affordable while ensuring water utilities have sufficient funds to replace and upgrade the water infrastructure.
The report’s key findings are:
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