Water Sector News
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Municipal Water Leaders Want More Federal Help for Poor Customers
n the wake of a drinking water crisis in Mississippi earlier this year, several municipal water utility leaders called on Congress Wednesday to take a greater role in helping low-income residents pay for their water bills.
The assistance would be similar to how the federal government helps poor people with other utilities, they said, and could help cash-strapped customers cope with water bills that have been rising at twice the rate of inflation since 2000. Those rate increases, the executives noted, are often required to help water utilities comply with federal mandates.
The added money would also put the utilities themselves on better financial footing, which would help them avoid systemic failures of municipal water systems, like the one seen over the summer in Jackson, Mississippi and previously in places like Flint, Michigan, they added.