Triad, NC - You have to use it...you have to pay for it. And just like every other utility and everything else, the price of water is going up.
According to USA Today, water rates have doubled, or even tripled in some cases, in the last 12 years.
The rise in cost is reportedly due to:
- The cost of paying off the debt on bonds municipalities issue to fund expensive repairs or upgrades on aging water systems.
- Increases in the cost of electricity, chemicals and fuel used to supply and treat water.
- Compliance with federal government clean-water mandates.
- Rising pension and health care costs for water agency workers.
- Increased security safeguards for water systems since the 9/11 terror attacks.
"All this is for the protection of the public good, and it's our responsibility to take care of the public and we take that pretty seriously," said Chris Thompson, City of High Point.
"The cost will go up if we pay now or later," said Steve Drew with the City of Greensboro.
Prices increased in close to 100 municiplalites across the country.
According to both water officials, water prices have increased about 78 percent since 2000.
Water authorites say even with the increases in rates. Water rates are still inexpensive compared to other utilities and even gas and milk.
"We were basically giving water away 12 years ago," said Drew.
News 2 found out that Greensboro, High Point and Burlington haven't seen a water rate increase for 2012. For Greensboro and High Point, a 4- to 5-percent increase in rates is expected for 2013.
In Winston-Salem, residents are paying about 9.75 percent more for water.
For more information on your city's proposed water increases, visit the official webpage or call your local water department.
To read the entire USA Today article, visit USA Today Analysis: Water costs gush higher.
Per the article, U.S. water systems will need as much as $1 trillion in infrastructure improvements by 2035 to keep up with drinking water needs, according to a survey of industry experts released in June.