For the fifth consecutive year, Bluefield Research has embarked upon an analysis of the water and wastewater rates in the U.S. and the impacts on residential bills. Ratepayers represent the primary source of funding for municipal capital and operating expenditures.
Across 49,000 water and 28,000 wastewater systems in the U.S., the need for investment in utility infrastructure is widely recognized. In 2019, Bluefield forecasted US$629 billion of capital expenditures for municipal utilities over the next decade. This number has trended upward because of aging systems, rising population, and external factors—sometimes unforeseen—such as large storm events.
Each utility faces unique challenges that impact utilities’ rates. As utilities pursue ambitious annual increases in water rates, the financial burden is falling more on households.
In this new Data Insight, Bluefield analyzes water and wastewater utility pricing in 50 metropolitan areas across 56 water and sewer utilities, throughout the U.S. to identify key trends in municipal utility bills.
Key analysis includes:
- Water and wastewater monthly bills, 2012-2020
- Regional rate comparison, 2020
- Combined water and wastewater bill increases, 2019-2020
- Price structure complexity and bill size