The cost of water in New York City

There’s good news and bad news when it comes to the cost of water in New York City – and what this could mean for your water bill.

While water rates have risen 5% on average over the past five years, this is a lower increase than the 12% average for the previous five years (2007-2012). But despite the recent trend, it can be hard to anticipate what rate increases will be in the future. It all comes down to the seven-member New York City Water Board and their mandate to shepherd New York City’s extensive water system.

Across the nation, water and sewer rate increases overall are due in part to Federal and State environmental mandates, such as the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, that continue to drive capital investment needs of the system. The financing of construction projects are another major factor driving water costs. Here in New York, projects include the Croton Water Filtration Plant and the City Water Tunnel No. 3 – a critical project for New York City’s future water supply, which is scheduled for completion in the 2020s.


So what does all of this mean for your water bill? The bottom line is that water rates fluctuate, but as the need to update aging infrastructure becomes more pressing, it’s a safe bet to assume that rates will continue to rise to help the city keep pace.


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