H2bidblog

COVID & THE WATER-DEBT CRISIS

Did you know that nationally 35% of adults report difficulty paying for normal household expenses? The unexpected change in water use has led to changes in customer bills.

Simply put, people have been using more water at home – cleaning and sanitizing, cooking and washing dishes, flushing the toilet, etc. Not to mention the extra hand-washing, showering and laundry done by those who have to venture out.

This rise in water, energy and other utility bills – no matter how small – has unfortunately created a debt crisis during the pandemic. For example, a survey in California shows a collective debt of roughly $38 million in utility bills.

Smaller utilities have also suffered revenue decline during this time due to their small customer base and the tendency to be overlooked for financial aid.

The lasting effects of the water-debt crisis will vary from community to community, depending on economic status and overall water demands. Those living in low-income areas, those who have lost jobs and those who must support others within their household have been impacted the most covid_financial_survey_report(note: links to a report: COVID-19 System Financial Vulnerability and Household Debt Survey by the California State Water Resources Control Board.)