It is all around us, rising prices. Gas, food, electricity, and other essentials have become increasingly expensive, and now there is a new resource to add to that list: WATER.
Tap water is a vital part of our society. Safe and reliable water used to be a true bargain considering the energy, extensive
delivery system and expertise required to capture, treat and deliver water to homes and businesses day in and day out. In order to filter, treat, and transport this resource, towns, cities, and states need to start charging more for it.
Water makes a very long journey before it comes down through our faucets, and without that journey, there would be no potable water. The treatment of water is undeniably one of the most important steps in creating usable, potable water. The process to remove the harmful chemicals, rotten smells, and sickening bacteria from the water stream so that we are able to drink, bathe, and simply use this water is costly.
So why do the prices keep going up?
Water Treatment Costs: A significant investment is made in treatment technology. Water quality tests continue to be upgraded to detect potentially harmful chemicals in our water. As the process advances so do the costs.
Federal Regulations: Treatment facilities are continuously being scrutinized about compliance as standards are forever being re-defined in order to assure that our water is safe and reliable. This comes at a cost.
Aging Water Infrastructure: As time passes, our water infrastructure slowly becomes obsolete. From treatment plants to pumping stations to local storage tanks to pipelines, much of the system that delivers water was built decades ago. Aging parts of that system must be upgraded, repaired and / or replaced to ensure reliable water deliveries.
Increasing Energy Costs: It takes a tremendous amount of electricity to pump, treat and deliver water. Electricity costs can account for a substantial portion of a local water agency’s operating expenses. As energy costs rise, the increases directly affect the cost of delivering water to consumers.
New Water Supplies: As our country continues to grow, states are looking to protect their existing water sources and acquire new ones. In addition to planning for droughts many towns are investing in new technology to create new water.
As water services have expanded to meet demand, so too has the cost of those services. Not unlike areas such as Lovettsville, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland, we are all going to start seeing a rise in our water bills to support our water system.