Alternative World Water Forum

A proposed rate hike will be felt the hardest by low-income residents and seniors.

Baltimore water

Baltimore provides a good illustration of the challenges facing many city water systems across the country. Here, every thunderstorm seems to bring another sewer overflow, with sewage backups flooding basements and water main breaks creating traffic jams. The city had nearly 800 water main breaks last year, which was, astonishingly, a big improvement over previous years.

Baltimore plans to spend $2 billion on improvements to its water and sewer systems over the next six years. These worthwhile projects should bring good union jobs to city residents while helping make our drinking water safe and our waterways clean.

But, how do we make these important investments and keep service affordable? A quarter of Baltimore residents live in poverty, and the median household income is little more than half (56 percent) of the statewide median.

All in all, water and sewer rates have more than tripled since 2000. Now, the city plans another 31 percent increase, but, as detailed below, because of new fees and cuts to assistance, many low-income seniors could see much worse. For many, water bills could double within the next three years.

Read more on the website of Food & Water Watch

Categories: Global stories

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