Water Affordability - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Water Affordability

Ensuring affordable drinking water for all northeastern Illinois residents

Water service costs are on the rise—nationally and at home


Across the country, drinking water is getting more expensive. Aging infrastructure, wage stagnation, unpredictable billing, pollution, population change, and other factors all stress an affordable, reliable water bill. From 2010 to 2019, the price of water service increased by over 57% in 30 major U.S. cities. At the same time, household income has been essentially stagnant, particularly for working class wages. A growing number of households will find their water bills unaffordable if water rates continue to rise at the expected pace. 


Affordability is a nuanced issue. Solutions start with identifying who is burdened, and why—whether for lack of income, or for expensive service. That's why the Metropolitan Planning Council partnered with Elevate Energy and the Illinois Indiana Sea Grant to better understand the extent of the water burden in northeastern Illinois. 

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Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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