Value of Water

Water is essential to our daily lives, but few people stop to consider its value and importance, especially when compared to bottled water and other everyday products.

Tap water costs less than a penny per gallon – a true bargain considering the energy and expertise it takes to treat and deliver safe and reliable water to homes and businesses day in and day out. But like many basic services today, the cost of treating and delivering water is going up for several reasons.

Though specifics may vary for individual water agencies, here are some of the factors affecting the cost of treating and delivering water:

  • Rising treatment costs. Increasingly stringent drinking water regulations add to the cost ofproviding water.
  • Aging water infrastructure. Repairing and upgrading aging pipelines, pumps and other facilities accounts for a significant portion of monthly water bills.
  • Increasing energy costs. It takes lots of electricity to pump, treat and deliver water. Rising costs for energy directly affect the cost of delivering water to you.
  • Cost of developing new supplies. Monthly water bills reflect the cost of producing recycled water and securing other new water supply sources.
  • Invasive species. Some water suppliers are now spending millions of dollars annually to contain the spread of invaders such as quagga mussels that clog and compromise pipelines and water facilities.

Customers of public water agencies get more than just a product for their money. They are getting reliable service that includes ongoing maintenance, sophisticated water quality testing and treatment, and highly trained personnel. Simply put, they are getting one of the best deals around.

A recent segment for public television produced by Huell Howser and underwritten by ACWA members showcases the value of water and, especially when compared to other everday household produces and services. View "Water: The Best Deal Around."

For more information, download Fast Facts on Rising Water Costs.

New materials for ACWA members:

ACWA has developed a variety of materials to help members communicate the value of water locally.

Click here for a library of sample Prop 218 Notices and corresponding documents. (Updated: April 2013 - Member sign-in required.)

Click here for Sample op-eds, letters to the editor and more. (Updated: November 2012 - Member sign-in required.)

Click here for the September 2011 Value of Water toolkit. (Member sign-in required.)

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