Circle of Blue reports in their annual survey that water prices in 30 major U.S. cities again grew at a pace faster than inflation. Water prices increased an average of 6.7 percent in these metropolitan areas, a slower rate than in recent years but well above the 2.1 percent increase in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for 2012. The median increase in water prices was 6.2 percent.
Because federal grants for municipal water infrastructure dried up in the 1980s, the burden of payment is now shouldered almost entirely by cities and their ratepayers. The U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that local governments spent $US 111 billion on water and wastewater operations, maintenance, and capital projects in 2010, a record and almost double what they spent just a decade ago.
The Environmental Protection Agency said that U.S. public drinking water systems would need to spend $384 billion through 2030 to maintain service. The 2012 Oklahoma Comprehensive Water Plan noted that the bill to maintain infrastructure in the state through 2060 would exceed $80 billion.
Want to see and compare water rates in your area of Oklahoma? Go to State Impact Oklahoma and check out the map in your area.