New Study Finds Trends in Local Drinking Water Affordability

Recent research published in December 2023 found trends in drinking water billing that may better inform federal, state and local water affordability policy. After examining over 1,700 systems in four states, some of the results included:

  • Municipally-owned systems are more likely to have lower water bills relative to for-profit systems;
  • Purchasing water and having neighboring systems with high bills significantly correlate with higher water bills;
  • Water systems with high levels of poverty tend to have higher water bills; and
  • Local systems that serve populations with higher levels of income inequality and higher proportions of non-White population tend to have lower water bills.

To view the full study, click here.

El-Khattabi AR, Gmoser-Daskalakis K, Pierce G (2023) Keep your head above water: Explaining disparities in local drinking water bills. PLOS Water 2(12): e0000190.