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Take the Water Affordability Pledge

In order to develop policies that address the crisis of residential water service becoming unaffordable for more than one-third of homes in the country, individuals and groups in communities with high water rates came together to create a set of consensus principles. The pledge below is based on the principles that community members wish to see in developing water affordability policies.

Take the Pledge Here!

Tell the EPA What Water Affordability Means!

On Monday, June 3rd, 2024 from 1–3 PM ET, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is hosting a public listening session to influence and inform the development of a Water Affordability Needs Assessment and Report to Congress. The report aims to detail the impacts of unaffordable water on households and utilities across the country. - Water affordability is a crucial issue in the Great Lakes region and at the national level. Freshwater Future developed these talking points to support you during the meeting. Let your voice be heard!

Water Affordability

Water affordability is a growing problem in the United States. Researchers have estimated that within the coming few years, approximately 33% of the U.S. population will have water bills that are not affordable. When determining whether water is affordable, water rates are compared to household income. The United Nations for example, has determined that bills that exceed 3% of household income are unaffordable, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has determined that bills exceeding 2.5% of household income for water service plus 2% for waste and storm water are unaffordable.

Yet we all know that water is necessary for life and must therefore be considered a human right. As water contamination, aging infrastructure, replacing dangerous lead pipes and other factors continue to increase the cost of water for families, Freshwater Future and our partners are pushing to ensure that affordable water is available to everyone and that innovative ways are pursued to reduce overall costs of providing and treating water for a sustainable future.

Learn More About Water Affordability

New Study Finds Affordable Water For All Michiganders Is Possible

The Water Affordability Analysis for Six Michigan Communities study proves the viability of a water affordability strategy that supports low-income residents and does not harm Michiganders who can afford their water or water utilities.

Great Lakes States LIHWAP Report Card

Freshwater Future compares the success of LIHWAP in the Great Lakes States.

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program, Or LIHWAP Is A New Federal Program That Provides Funding And Prioritizes Reconnecting Households’ Water And Assisting Those With Imminent Shutoffs.

Eleven-Point Water Affordability Plan

This plan was developed by members of communities currently struggling with water that is not affordable to all in their communities.

Read the Plan

What is Affordability and How Does it Relate to Water Infrastructure and Contamination?

Learn More