Rates have increased in many cities, but local conditions dictate by how much and how the increase is distributed. Chicago prices are up nearly 25 percent, while Los Angeles is down by 9 percent.
water price pricing use san francisco chicago baltimore boston new york city philadelphia philly columbus detroit indianapolis milwaukee atlanta charlotte jacksonville memphis austin dallas fort worth houston san antonio denver las vegas phoenix tucson santa fe salt lake city fresno los angeles san diego san jose seattle
Graphic © Amanda Northrop / Circle of Blue
Infographic of water prices in 30 major U.S. cities from 2010, 2011, and 2012. Click to see enlarged image.
By Brett Walton
Circle of Blue
Reflecting economic circumstances for water utilities in countless American cities and towns, single-family residential water prices in 30 major U.S. cities have gone up an average of 7.3 percent during the last year and 17.9 percent since 2010, when Circle of Blue began collecting pricing data. The median increase was 7.8 percent over the last year.
Range of Use
Monthly water bills were calculated for a family of four at three consumption levels:
Low: 190 liters (50 gallons) per person daily
Medium: 378 liters (100 gallons) per person daily
High: 568 liters (150 gallons) per person daily
Circle of Blue began tracking water rates in 2010 for the same 30 U.S. cities: the 20 largest in the nation, plus 10 regionally representative cities. From 2010 to 2011, the first year an annual comparison was possible, prices rose an average of 9.4 percent, with a median increase of 8.6 percent.
These figures are based on “medium consumption,” which is defined as a family of four using 378 liters (100 gallons) per person per day — roughly the national average for daily per capita domestic water use, as calculated by the U.S. Geological Survey.