Stats on WRF, water utilities, and just plain water
Water professionals typically rely on an “affordability ratio” that compares the average annual
cost of water and wastewater services per household to the median household income (MHI).
less than 4.5% of service area MHI
for combined average annual water and wastewater bill is considered affordable
(Stratus Consulting 2013)
Cost of administering CAPs References
AW WA (AMERICAN WATER Works Association) and Raftelis (Raftelis
Financial Consultants, Inc.). 2015. 2014 Water and Wastewater Rate
Survey. Denver, Colo.: American Water Works Association and
Charlotte, NC: Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc.
CROM WELL, J. E., III, R. D. Colton, S. J. Rubin, C. N. Herrick, J. Mobley, K.
Reinhardt, and R. Wilson. 2010. Best Practices in Customer Payment
Assistance Programs. Project #4004. Denver, Colo.: Water Research
DENAVAS-WALT, C. AND B.D. Proctor. 2015. Income and Poverty
in the United States: 2014, Current Population Reports. 60–252.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Census Bureau.
EPA (U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency). 2016. Drinking
Water and Wastewater Utility Customer Assistance Programs.
STRATUS CONSULTING. 2013. Affordability Assessment Tool for
Federal Water Mandates. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Conference
of Mayors; Denver, Colo.: American Water Works Association,
Alexandria, Va.: Water Environment Federation. https://usmayors.
2.5% for water, plus 2% for wastewater services
Customer assistance programs (CAPs) offered by
U.S. drinking water and wastewater utilities
Type of Drinking Water and Wastewater
to Have One or
Large Utilities (>100,000 people) 620 190 (30.6%) 308 (84.4%)
Medium Utilities ( 10,000–100,000 people) 175 38 ( 21.7%) 57 ( 15.6%)
Source: EPA 2016
128% either did not know or did not answer this quesiton.
65% spend less than $25,000
7% spend more than $25,000