America has a water crisis no one is talking about

Outdated infrastructure is making water too expensive for millions of families.

Access to clean water is a basic human right. Yet for 14 million US households, or 12 percent of homes, water bills are too expensive. And as the cost of water rises, even more Americans are at risk of not being able to pay their monthly water bill.

According to a 2017 paper from researchers at Michigan State University, water prices will have to increase by 41 percent in the next five years to cover the costs of replacing aging water infrastructure and adapting to climate change. That will mean that nearly 41 million households — or a staggering third of all US households — may not be able to afford water for drinking, bathing, and cooking by 2020.

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PWSA eyeing double-digit rate increase for 2018

For years, households served by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority have paid less for water than many surrounding communities do.

But that gap may narrow in 2018. PWSA is weighing a potential rate increase that would outpace this year’s 13 percent boost, said Robert Weimar, the interim executive director, in an interview Friday.

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