U.S. Water Prices Drop for Second Year in a Row

Nov. 1, 1999
The cost of water has fallen for the second consecutive year in the United States, acccording to the 1999 NUS International Water Cost Analysis survey.

The cost of water has fallen for the second consecutive year in the United States, acccording to the 1999 NUS International Water Cost Analysis survey.

The survey found an average of 0.5 percent drop in the price of water to just under 51 cents per cubic meter over the 12 months prior to July 1, 1999.

?One of the greatest drops was in Newark, where the return of its capital improvement funding gave consumers a reduction of almost 7 percent,? said Richard Soultanian, Co-President of National Utility Service, Inc.

?In contrast, prices rose 3 percent in Los Angeles over the past year, one of the few rises for the year.?

This is good news for inflation, with water used in many manufacturing processes and office buildings. Prices indicated are for average monthly cost of 220,200 gallons (294,300 ft.3) of water on a two-inch meter for a commercial user. This is enough water for an apartment block of around 15 units or a smaller office block.

?The situation could soon change following the recent drought and floods,? Soultanian cautioned. ?These events have shown that more needs to be done to improve the water supply in some areas, and this will require funding - funding that could be reflected in increased water charges.?

Highlights from around the world in the NUS International Water Cost Analysis include:

  • German consumers pay the most for their water;
  • South Africa posted the greatest price increase (9.8 percent);
  • The greatest drop in prices was in Finland (down 2.3 percent);
  • French consumers have started to see prices rise; and
  • Canada remains the cheapest country surveyed.

The annual survey is part of the National Utility Service?s utility cost management work to help organizations obtain better electricity, gas, telecommunication, fuel and water prices.

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