Ahmed Elbatrawy

Water bills expected to triple in some parts of U.S.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Many consumers could see their water bills double or even triple, as the country attempts to overhaul its aging water system over the next 25 years.

A new study by the American Water Works Association found that repairing and expanding the U.S. drinking water system between 2011 and 2035 will cost at least $1 trillion, an amount that will largely be paid for by jacking up household water bills.

“The amounts will vary depending on community size and geographic region, but in some communities these infrastructure costs alone could triple the size of a typical family’s water bills,” the report said.

Currently, the average household water bill is about $335 per year, according to the non-profit, which focuses on drinking water quality and supply.

Small, rural communities are likely to be hit the hardest because there are fewer people to share the expenses of infrastructure projects. Families in these areas are likely to see their bills jump between $300 and $550 per year due to infrastructure repairs and expansion costs. And that doesn’t even include added costs of other big projects that may come up like replacing pipes to meet new regulations.

While it’s a lot of extra money to pay, delaying the investment could lead to poor water service, pipe breakage and an increase in costly emergency repairs which would lead to higher costs in the long-run, the report states.

“We face the need for massive reinvestment in our water infrastructure over the coming decades,” the report states. “The pipe networks that were largely built and paid for by earlier generations — and passed down to us as an inheritance –last a long time, but they are not immortal.”

The $1 trillion in water infrastructure costs over the next 25 years includes fixing leaky pipes, replacing pipelines and expanding water systems to accommodate growing populations. To top of page

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Ahmed Elbatrawy