14 Aug 2008

Household Water Costs?

JM asks:
Would it be possible to provide some numbers for average household water expenditures in the US, or down to the state or county level? It would be a lot easier to conceptualize water budget constraints if I had any idea about water's cost or budget share?
I have these (lame) answers:
  • Water prices are targeted to be less than 2 percent of median income.
  • The monthly bill should be less than the cable bill.
  • The average water customer in LA pays $35/month, which is $420/year (at 2 percent, that implies a HH income of $21,000, which is WAYYY low.)
Does anyone have a nice source of nationwide water bills? International bills?

More importantly, does anyone have a full cost accounting that includes the cost of infrastructure that may be funded through property taxes, assessments, etc.?

Bottom Line: We can't do much about water policy if we don't even know what people are paying.

1 comment:

  1. If you are going to get serious about surveying for water bills, then I think you have to compare apples to apples.

    The survey about water bills left out what I think is one important point: those that live in apartment buildings don't pay their own water bills (usually) so the "I don't know" category was out of whack. At least, I think so.

    Separating apartment/multi-family dwellings from property owners/renters should be the first division.

    Then, of course, separating by size of house/property, but then you could go on forever.

    I would have liked to have seen that survey broken out a little more.

    At least the "I don't know" category divided by apartment renters, and 'my wife handles the checkbook' types.


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