It is hard for many to imagine that communities in the modern-day U.S. lack the basic life necessity of clean water, but it is indeed the case.
Metro areas with the highest percentages of households lacking complete plumbing include San Francisco, Milwaukee, San Antonio, Cleveland, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Portland, Memphis, and Austin. Water access, affordability, and safety are three of the primary challenges for U.S. households that are now struggling with water security.
Even for households that have complete plumbing, the cost of water can be a significant financial drain. Some cities have taken steps during the pandemic to ease the utility bill burden for their residents by suspending water payments to make it easier for people to have money in their pocket. Water affordability has become a really important issue.
The idea to consolidate water utilities is being considered and would address both the accessibility and affordability issues.
Large water systems tend to deliver higher quality water more efficiently to customers. Estimates are that 30,000-40,000 organizations are running the 50,000 water systems across the country. Some municipalities share water delivery while others operate their own water organizations. Other proposed solutions include regulatory reform and technology upgrades. Water is not a civil right– it is a human right.