The Stream, March 24: Severe Droughts May Change How Water Is Priced

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

Increasingly severe droughts in the western United States could give utilities more power to set higher prices for water. Ireland’s government is considering ways to make people pay their water bills, while making Los Angeles’ water systems resilient to earthquakes could cost billions. Dozens of people die each day in the Philippines from a lack of clean water, and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro admitted the city will likely not meet water cleanup goals for the Olympics. Agricultural trade with China could increase Australia’s water stress.

“We Americans are spoiled, we wake up in the morning and we turn on the tap and out comes as much water as we want for less than we pay for cellphone service or for cable television.”–Robert Glennon, professor of law and public policy at the University of Arizona, on how water is priced cheaply despite its high value. Droughts in the Western United States may change how utilities can price water. (The Atlantic)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$15 billion Cost, over the next 20 years, to make improvements to Los Angeles’ water infrastructure that will help protect it against earthquakes. Reuters

55 people Estimated number who die every day in the Philippines due to a lack of clean water and sanitation that leads to diseases. Channel News Asia


Science, Studies, And Reports

Increasing agricultural trade between Australia and China will likely increase water stress in Australia, though the country’s modern water management systems are expected to mitigate the risk, according to an analysis by Stratfor. Stratfor

On the Radar

On The Radar

The Irish government may implement measures that would allow Irish Water to directly take water charge payments from wages and welfare. The measures would be used for people who refuse to pay their water bills. The Irish Times

Rio de Janeiro is unlikely to meet water cleanup goals before the 2016 Olympics, according to the city’s mayor. The city has long had difficulty curbing the flow of untreated sewage and garbage into its water. Associated Press

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