AWWA Water Science
Manuel P. Teodoro and Robin Rose Saywitz
This study uses contemporary metrics and data from an original, representative sample of water and sewer utilities in the United States to calculate the affordability of basic single-family residential water and sewer services for low-income households in 2019. Results show that affordability conditions have worsened on average since the last such study in 2017: low-income households must spend an average of 12.4% of their disposable income (up from 10.9%) and/or work 10.1 h at minimum wage (up from 9.9 h) to pay for basic monthly water and sewer services. Analysis suggests that rising prices combine with underlying economic trends to exacerbate affordability.