Water, water, everywhere..

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Gob
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Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Gob »

And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.

Millions of ordinary Americans are facing rising and unaffordable bills for running water, and risk being disconnected or losing their homes if they cannot pay, a landmark Guardian investigation has found.

Exclusive analysis of 12 US cities shows the combined price of water and sewage increased by an average of 80% between 2010 and 2018, with more than two-fifths of residents in some cities living in neighbourhoods with unaffordable bills.

In the first nationwide research of it’s kind, our findings reveal the painful impact of America’s expanding water poverty crisis as aging infrastructure, environmental clean-ups, changing demographics and the climate emergency fuel exponential price hikes in almost every corner of the country.

America’s growing water affordability crisis comes as the Covid-19 pandemic underlines the importance of access to clean water. The research shows that rising bills are not just hurting the poorest but also, increasingly, working Americans.

“More people are in trouble, and the poorest of the poor are in big trouble,” said Roger Colton, a leading utilities analyst, who was commissioned by the Guardian to analyse water poverty. “The data shows that we’ve got an affordability problem in an overwhelming number of cities nationwide that didn’t exist a decade ago, or even two or three years ago in some cities.”

Water bills exceeding 4% of household income are considered unaffordable.

Colton’s 88-page report is published today at the launch of a major project on America’s water emergency by the Guardian, Consumer Reports and other partners.

Continues here..
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

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Guinevere
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Guinevere »

Read Cadillac Desert, published in 1986, and you will learn many have been noting this potential problem for a long time. We have major urban areas in dry locations. When rainfall diminishes, as it has with climate change, and you have long and frequent droughts, there will be shortages.

It is also related to the fact that, despite periods of prosperity, local, state, and the federal government has been incredibly reticent to spend money on import infrastructure improvements and upgrades, like sewage treatment plants or water facilities, especially piping systems which are old, leaky, and wasteful. All while spending gazillions on palace-like schools, and other pet projects.

My little town has had one significant accident in our plant 5ish years ago, and since then we have been forced to spend 10s of millions in repair and upgrades, which have been a significant hit in our sewer bills. Our rates have doubled or more in that same period.
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Gob
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Gob »

Ouch! OK, what do you pay there?

I pay 40 quid a quarter for water, (no sewage, I've got a septic tank system.)
“If you trust in yourself, and believe in your dreams, and follow your star. . . you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.”

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Long Run
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Long Run »

I think Guin explained the main problems. I would add on other thing -- stuff costs money and it always seems like it costs more than it should. Most can just grin and pay, but it obviously gets harder to pay for bigger items the lower an income. I would add one other thing: how amazing is it that most of us have plentiful fresh, potable, sometimes nearly pristine, water in such wide supply; and our considerable waste is similarly removed without any thought to what is required to make that happen.

Here, we pay about $240 per quarter for both water and sewer. We don't have much exterior watering, but if we did, the bill would be $50-60 more each quarter. Many pay more than that. There is a local subsidy program for low income.

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TPFKA@W
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by TPFKA@W »

Well, I for one am glad we have one. Those of you who are better blessed might want to consider paying random water bills as a helping hand.
su·pe·ri·or·i·ty com·plex
noun
noun: superiority complex

an attitude of superiority which conceals actual feelings of inferiority and failure.

Big RR
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Big RR »

I recall seeing some report in my town which showed the golf courses pay much less for their water (and sewers) than residential customers--something I don't understand. Farmers oirrigate fileds which grow crops that benefit all of us, but the large amounts of water the golf courses use to water their greens beneft only a few (especially private country clubs which benefit only the members); OK, I'll concede that golf courses are open land, and there is a benefit to the community for that, but one I doubt is in line with all the water they use or the discounted rates they get.

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Bicycle Bill
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Bicycle Bill »

Long Run wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 1:01 pm
I would add one other thing: how amazing is it that most of us have plentiful fresh, potable, sometimes nearly pristine, water in such wide supply....
Right. Just turn on the tap and out it comes.  I've been drinking it for over 60 years and it ain't killed me yet.

Which makes just shake my head at the number of people who flatly refuse to drink water unless it comes out of a plastic bottle at 69¢ a pint.
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dales
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by dales »

W.C. Fields had an interesting reply when offered a glass of water.

No thank-you, fish f-ck in it,

Your collective inability to acknowledge this obvious truth makes you all look like fools.


yrs,
rubato

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Long Run
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Long Run »

Big RR wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:56 pm
I recall seeing some report in my town which showed the golf courses pay much less for their water (and sewers) than residential customers--something I don't understand. Farmers oirrigate fileds which grow crops that benefit all of us, but the large amounts of water the golf courses use to water their greens beneft only a few (especially private country clubs which benefit only the members); OK, I'll concede that golf courses are open land, and there is a benefit to the community for that, but one I doubt is in line with all the water they use or the discounted rates they get.
Big part of the cost of bringing you water is fixed, regardless the amount of use, so a charge based solely on a per unit would over-charge heavy users. Plus, assuming there is plenty of water, having big users pay at a lower per unit rate helps to reduce the costs for everyone assuming it is not ridiculously low (i.e., better to find a paying use for the water than to have if flow unused down the river)

Big RR
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Big RR »

Perhaps, but then when water is becoming scarce and residential customers are seeing their bills skyrocket, charging based on consumption, even for heavy users, makes a lot of sense (especially if that use has little, if any, benefit to the public (as I said, I can see giving farmers a break, but private golf clubs).

FWIW, my water bill has a fixed charge (which presumably covers the fixed costs) and then a per gallon charge (which is based on consumption); the same could easily be done with golf courses.

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Long Run
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Long Run »

Isn't nearly all the costs for a water system fixed? It is not like the water utility has to pay more for the water when demand increases. That is, until there is not enough water to go round. The per unit charge is just an incentive to make people think about how much water they are using so that there is a better chance that there will be enough water.

Big RR
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Big RR »

Certainly, and the same could be said for large users as well.

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dales
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by dales »

Bottled water sold by Whole Foods has high levels of arsenic, tests show

Hannah Denham, The Washington Post Published 9:36 am PDT, Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Tests of the Starkey Spring Water label showed arsenic levels ranging from 9.49 to 9.5 parts per billion, the nonprofit consumer advocacy group said. The federal threshold is 10 parts per billion, Consumer Reports said, and of the 45 brands tested from February to May, Starkey was the only brand with arsenic levels that exceeded 3 parts per billion.


In an emailed statement, Whole Foods said the company's "highest priority is to provide customers with safe, high-quality and refreshing spring water."

"Beyond the required annual testing by [a U.S. Food and Drug Administration] certified lab, we have an accredited third-party lab test every production run of water before it is sold," the statement said. "These products meet all FDA requirements and are fully compliant with FDA standards for heavy metals."

Starkey Spring Water is also carried by Amazon, though it was listed as "currently unavailable" on the e-commerce site on Wednesday morning. (Whole Foods is a unit of Amazon, whose chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.) It's still being sold in Whole Foods stores and on its website for $1.99 for a one-pint bottle. According to its product label, Starkey Spring Water originates from the Starkey Hot Springs in Idaho and is "deep down good. 11,000 years old."

Whole Foods introduced Starkey Spring Water in 2015. The next year, according to Consumer Reports, the retailer recalled more than 2,000 cases of water after tests showed arsenic levels that approached or exceeded the federal limit of 10 parts per billion. In 2019, Consumer Reports tests showed that Starkey Spring water contained levels approaching or exceeding the federal limit of 10 parts per billion.

James Dickerson, Consumer Reports' chief scientific officer, said drinking one bottle probably won't harm people. But he cautioned that the risk grows with regular use.

"Regular consumption of even small amounts of the heavy metal over extended periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and lower IQ scores in children, and poses other health issues as well," Dickerson said in a news release.

Your collective inability to acknowledge this obvious truth makes you all look like fools.


yrs,
rubato

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Long Run
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by Long Run »

Starkey Spring Water is also carried by Amazon
As are much of the waters of South America. 8-)

ex-khobar Andy
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by ex-khobar Andy »

Arsenic is a natural component of water and 10 ppb isn't going to kill you. There is research which suggests that to may take a few points off IQ. There is no need to use these stupid bottled waters - except of course in places like Flint Mich where the city water leaches lead out of the pipes. Starkey should just find another source or use it for some other purpose.

MGMcAnick
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Re: Water, water, everywhere..

Post by MGMcAnick »

Wichita is preparing to break ground this fall on a new water treatment plant to replace one that is nearly 80 years old. It will cost over $1/2 a Billion, and doesn't include new water mains. They are now replaced as they fail. It has been said that one hiccup could leave Wichita and many smaller towns in the area without water for an unknown period. Many small towns, and the rural water district I live in, buy treated water from the city.
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