Paying for utilities is fairly uncomplicated. If you turn off the lights and the air conditioner, your electricity bill is lower. So, you might assume that using less water would mean a smaller water bill. For residents of drought-hit California, that’s not necessarily the case.
Consumers have been told to cut back on their water usage. The state has instituted new regulations, but the companies that provide the water still have to pay for infrastructure.
Lori Anne Dolqueist, a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips who represents water utilities, says when it comes to paying for water, consumers are also paying for “the cost of installing, maintaining, repairing, replacing the underlying infrastructure: the pipes, the pumps, the wells. The other facilities.”
Paying for water has always meant much more than simply paying for what comes out of the tap. And as people are required to use less water, utility companies raise prices to make up the difference.
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