The study, by some of America’s last people who do studies, found that the average four-person household pays a monthly water bill of $120. Today. But in five years it will be $170. Or a sack of pigeon meat, depending on how the next four years go.
Of course, not every household pays $170 a month now. The Environmental Protection Agency, which was still a thing as of press time, classifies households paying more than 4.5% of their income on water bills as living in water poverty. That’s 13.8 million households.
Which means 11.9% of American households are hosed.
The good news is that the Trump Adminisylum is coming to save the day–by taking fucking big government and its goddamn freedom-hating money out of the pipeline. One way: Eliminating more than half a billion dollars worth of grants to states and tribal authorities that help poor people buy water, which they then drink in order not to die. Deregulation will also lower costs for utilities, allowing them to pass the savings on to their owners and pass the E. coli on to you, the consumer. Of E. coli.
With state governments already strapped for cash because they’ve decided to be strapped for cash, privatization will look like the only answer for those municipalities that haven’t already given their water to rich people in exchange for the privilege of buying it back in order not to die. Atlanta, for instance, pays an estimated average, for a four-person household, of $325 a month, thanks in part to privatization. Or “privation” for short.
Trump’s commitment to watering down the rules that protect America’s water from getting watered down will also mean higher costs–and more privatization, which will mean higher higher costs as private utility companies permit poor people to drink the utility’s water only after the utility drinks their milkshake.