Californians Are Struggling to Pay for Rising Water Rates

Water rates are rising in many California communities faster than some residents can keep up.
But it’s not just access to water that’s a problem, it’s also the cost.
Many California residents, in both small towns and big cities, are struggling to keep up with the rising price of water.
Water districts that could once rely on rain and reliable groundwater reserves no longer can.” In the small San Joaquin Valley communities of Cantua Creek and El Porvenir, hundreds of residents are paying above-average rates for water that they cannot even safely drink.
The biggest increase was for households of four that used 100 gallons per capita a day, which saw monthly water bills increase from $58.49 to $100.14.
Dodd’s proposed law, Senate Bill 998, seeks to model California’s water deliveries more like electricity and phone services, where failure to pay bills may result in soft enforcement – first warnings, followed by opportunities to appeal and probably fines.
His proposed law would prohibit service cuts for at least 60 days if a customer fails to pay a bill.
Dodd says many of the poorest Californians are paying as much as a fifth of their incomes for water.
Additionally, many people receive water from private wells or small water systems.
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