Neda Simeonova is editorial director of Water & Wastes Digest. Simeonova can be reached at [email protected] or 847.391.1011.
From growing population, to tightening regulations, to water availability, water systems are faced with various challenges; however, funding continues to be the single largest issue when it comes to treating and delivering safe drinking water.
In most areas in the U.S., the general public lacks full understanding of how much work goes into treating and delivering clean water; they simply turn the tap and water flows—safe, available and cheap.
As the industry continues to face a widening funding gap, municipalities around the country are reviewing the price of the services they offer. According to WWD’s most recent poll, 93% of utilities anticipate implementing water and sewer rate increases in the next five years. With new rates becoming a reality, it is important to remember that not pricing water correctly in the first place has been at the root of many problems in the water industry. Pricing decisions are never purely financial, they also are socio-political, ensuring that those who cannot afford to pay for water are not priced out of this valuable resource.