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CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:28 pm
 


Title: Revealed: millions of Americans can�t afford water as bills rise 80% in a decade
Category: Uncle Sam
Posted By: BeaverFever
Date: 2020-06-23 16:23:12


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:28 pm
 


.
Quote:
Amid rising costs and diminishing federal dollars, the use of punitive measures – shutoffs and liens (a legal claim on the house linked to a debt which can lead to foreclosure) – is widespread. Just like mortgage foreclosures, water shutoffs and liens can force affected households to abandon their homes.

.... Federal neglect

Federal funding for water systems has fallen by 77% in real terms since its peak in 1977 – leaving local utilities to raise the money that is needed to upgrade infrastructure, comply with safety standards for toxic contaminants like PFAS, lead and algae blooms, and adapt to extreme weather conditions like drought and floods linked to global heating.

Q&A
Who provides America’s water?

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For years, maintenance and clean-up projects were deferred by utilities, which has contributed to the current infrastructure and toxic water crisis. . This helps explain why more than $6bn worth of water is lost annually to leaks, according to industry analysts Bluefield Research.

“High-cost low-quality water is a national issue… the federal government is clearly not playing the role it needs to play,” said Howard Neukrug, director of the water centre at the University of Pennsylvania and former head of Philadelphia’s water department.

“The bottom line is that assuming there’s no federal helicopter with $1tn, rates are going to go up dramatically to pay for infrastructure and quality issues,” he added.

At least $35bn every year for 20 years – that’s how much investment the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is needed just to comply with federal safety regulations for water, sewage and storm water.

Part of the problem is that For years, maintenance and clean-up projects were deferred by utilities, without squirreling away money or planning for the climate crisis. It’s led to a massive backlog, for instance, More than $6bn worth of water is lost annually to leaks, according to industry analysts Bluefield Research.

Putting off improvements is no longer an option, so cities must now borrow the money to invest in infrastructure programmes and/or hike up prices in order to deliver safe, clean water.

Nationwide, the rising cost of water has significantly outstripped the consumer price index over the past decade.

The US is the only country in the industrialized world without a regulatory system – like Ofwat in the UK – responsible for monitoring rates and performance, according to Stephen Gasteyer, professor of sociology at Michigan State University.

He said: “Water rates have gone up dramatically – mostly in places where people are also struggling with food, housing and other basic services. It’s a symptom of the inequalities and segregation problems we have in the US, where poor people are agglomerated in particular places and local governments are shouldered with the responsibility for raising revenue for services.”

... Access to water has never been a priority in the country, because it’s been a poor person’s issue. We need to transform that mindset and make sure every American has clean running water,” said Lawrence.

Punitive measures

As many as one in 20 homes are disconnected for unpaid bills annually, according to the only national study. Noone knows how many eventually catch-up on payments or have to learn to survive without water to flush the toilet, shower and cook. There’s no national watchdog and most census questions about water access and poverty have been eliminated since the 1980s.

The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the plight of people like Deborah O’Barr, 62, from Goodspring, Tennessee, and husband Bobby, 63, who’ve lived without running water since 2016 as they don’t have the money or correct paperwork to get a new meter.

“It feels like nobody cares. We must be the lowest of the low as far as the water company is concerned. We just don’t matter, not even during a pandemic,” said O’Barr, who relies on a local spring, rainwater and her son to fill containers.


Hooray for austerity! People don’t want running water and dont care about losing their homes, they want to know the debt to gdp ratio is getting lower. That’s what future generations will thank you for!

But wait what to you mean it’s still not getting lower?


Last edited by BeaverFever on Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 4:50 pm
 


That is CRAZY. I wonder how the stockholders for Nestle think of this.

In other news...

Holy cow Ron Jeremy is charged???

Ron Jeremy: adult film star charged with rape and sexual assault of four women


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CKA Uber
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:47 pm
 


Wonder if some of the geniuses who helped "improve" Alberta's utilities (and who also managed to then run away from their role in the Enron scandal) via privatization back in the Klein days are also involved in making life so much better for those in the US who now have to pay off a water bill for $30000. If nothing else it shows how creatively cruel Americans can be at using money to fuck each other over as much as possible.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 6:48 pm
 


Annd there’s an accompanying op-ed by Bernie Sanders

Quote:
Clean water is a human right. In America it’s more a profit machine

When it comes to water infrastructure, America’s challenges resemble those of a developing country. It’s time for that to change

Brenda Lawrence
Last modified on Tue 23 Jun 2020 21.33 BST
How can it be that in the midst of a pandemic, children living in the richest country in world history are being poisoned by tap water? For decades, our government has put corporate profits ahead of guaranteeing its people the right to clean water. We have neglected the most basic public investments to keep Americans healthy and safe. Now, as America battles an unprecedented public health crisis, we can no longer continue along a course in which companies have been allowed to buy up, privatize, and profit off a basic human right. The solution is not more privatization – it is for Congress to end decades of neglect and immediately invest billions into our public water systems so that we can finally guarantee clean drinking water to everybody.

That’s why we joined with Representative Ro Khanna to introduce the Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity and Reliability (Water) Act. This comprehensive legislation would provide up to $35bn per year to overhaul our water infrastructure across the nation.

Unbelievably, when it comes to water infrastructure, America’s challenges resemble those of a developing country. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives our drinking water infrastructure a “D” grade and our wastewater infrastructure a “D+”. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that raw sewage overflows at least 23,000 times each year. Up to 1.7 million Americans lack access to basic plumbing facilities such as a toilet, tub, shower, or basic running water. Almost 200,000 households have absolutely no wastewater system. Up to 10m homes across America get water through lead pipes. Six years since the start of its water crisis, Flint still does not have clean water. Meanwhile, in Denmark, South Carolina, families are forced to travel 20 miles each month in order to collect clean drinking water.

Not only do Americans have to deal with poor-quality and often toxic drinking water, we have the “privilege” of paying an arm and a leg for it. Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, nearly 14m households were unable to afford their water bills, whose prices increased more than 40% since 2010. At this rate, more than a third of American households may not be able to afford their water bills five years from now. ⁠Furthermore, due to the economic meltdown caused by the coronavirus, millions of Americans who don’t know where their next paycheck will come from are now at risk of losing their water service. As public health officials warn that this deadly disease will be with us for quite some time, how are families supposed to wash their hands regularly when their utility company is shutting off their water?

It should not be a radical idea to say that all families should be able to protect themselves from the coronavirus and other illnesses by practicing good handwashing and hygiene with affordable, clean water in their homes. Our legislation is designed to ensure that disadvantaged communities – including small, rural, and indigenous communities – receive the funding and assistance they need to cover everybody. The Water Act would provide grants to households and communities to make repairs to water infrastructure, replace lead service lines and safely filter out toxic compounds from their drinking water. Under the bill, families who need help could get grants for upgrades to household wells and septic systems. Schools would also receive up to $1bn a year for water infrastructure upgrades to address lead and other water problems. And this bill helps hold utility companies accountable for engaging in service shutoffs, discrimination, and civil rights violations.

The American people cannot afford to wait another day. Parents should not have to worry that their children will suffer serious developmental problems from drinking lead-contaminated tap water in their homes or schools. Our people should not be forced to choose between paying for food or the water bill. Given the enormity of this crisis, and how the right to clean water is essential to an effective pandemic response, a comprehensive relief bill must include the Water Act.

The United States of America should not have toxic or unaffordable water. When people in the world’s richest country turn on their taps, the water they drink should be clean. As we deal with a deadly virus that has killed 120,000 Americans already, handwashing, good sanitation, and safe, hygienic environments are not optional. Let us go forward together, and demand that Congress finally make the necessary investments in clean water for all Americans, putting human lives ahead of corporate profits. Our most vulnerable communities depend on it.


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/com ... it-machine


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:40 pm
 


I'm a believer that water should be free. No water should be bottled for profit. Hell, make the basic food stuffs free. Or at least make it stupid cheap.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 8:58 pm
 


llama66 wrote:
I'm a believer that water should be free.


I'd agree with you but people being the assholes they are aren't going to let that happen. I'm sure that some in the US gov't feel that way to, up to the point when they run out of their own water and take Canada's by force because well, water as everyone knows should be free.

Water will be the next resource the world will be fighting over and it'll be about as free as oil.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:10 pm
 


llama66 wrote:
I'm a believer that water should be free. No water should be bottled for profit. Hell, make the basic food stuffs free. Or at least make it stupid cheap.



I would agree that basics like water and electricity (and these days, internet)
should remain solely under the influence of the government.

The basic problem being that government does a shitty job of everything,
which is why stuff winds up being privatized.


However, Canada should develop some policies for selling water to the US,
they need it, we have it, and since we have neither the military skill nor
economic power to defeat them, and they are coming anyway.....


Best to get a deal. We should start by getting rid of the idiots who
negotiated the last NAFTA package.. band of heroes, that was. :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:57 pm
 


Martin15 wrote:

The basic problem being that government does a shitty job of everything,
which is why stuff winds up being privatized.


That’s a conservative myth that’s usually only true when conservative and centrist governments want to enrich their millionaire buddies.


Quote:
However, Canada should develop some policies for selling water to the US,
they need it, we have it, and since we have neither the military skill nor
economic power to defeat them, and they are coming anyway.....


No way. Let them get a foot in the door and they’ll take it all. I’ll pass on the “just relax and try to enjoy it” date rape advice. I doubt we’ll see Abrams tanks rolling across the border any time soon.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:10 am
 


Yea well there's a lot of rich Americans that get a lot richer the longer they stay at war.

Can't draft people or they'll revolt like they did re Vietnam.

So how do you keep the military voluntary?

Well what if the entire population is dirt poor and the military or the street are their only options? That should do it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 6:29 am
 


Robair wrote:
Well what if the entire population is dirt poor and the military or the street are their only options? That should do it.


That's why the US military has a lot of underprivileged people already. The only way out of abject poverty is service.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:19 am
 


Robair wrote:
Yea well there's a lot of rich Americans that get a lot richer the longer they stay at war.

Can't draft people or they'll revolt like they did re Vietnam.

So how do you keep the military voluntary?

Well what if the entire population is dirt poor and the military or the street are their only options? That should do it.



There are 1,001 reasons why US would never invade another democracy, NATO ally and vital trading partner.

Besides they wouldn’t need to, they would just need to wait for a conservative government or use diplomatic and trade pressure and their fifth columnists in the Canadian businesses community and conservative establishment to propagandize and lobby from within. Once the Canadian businesses elite agrees it’s in their private interest to start selling out our water to the yanks, it’s only a matter of time. Any politician who doesn’t fall in line will be declared a “radical socialist “ and “threat to the economy” who is “refusing to listen to the experts” (who are not actually experts).


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:27 am
 


BeaverFever wrote:
Robair wrote:
Yea well there's a lot of rich Americans that get a lot richer the longer they stay at war.

Can't draft people or they'll revolt like they did re Vietnam.

So how do you keep the military voluntary?

Well what if the entire population is dirt poor and the military or the street are their only options? That should do it.



There are 1,001 reasons why US would never invade another democracy, NATO ally and vital trading partner.

Besides they wouldn’t need to, they would just need to wait for a conservative government or use diplomatic and trade pressure and their fifth columnists in the Canadian businesses community and conservative establishment to propagandize and lobby from within. Once the Canadian businesses elite agrees it’s in their private interest to start selling out our water to the yanks, it’s only a matter of time. Any politician who doesn’t fall in line will be declared a “radical socialist “ and “threat to the economy” who is “refusing to listen to the experts” (who are not actually experts).


And it all starts by letting third party advertisers (PACS, SuperPACS) during elections, and removing spending limits, in order to 'guide' public opinion. ;)

current-events-f59/alberta-opposition-ndp-label-referendum-bill-a-covert-jason-t124427.html


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:32 am
 


There's a problem with infrastructure and democracy. There are no votes in investing in infrastructure, which is invisible, costs a lot, takes a long time and results in moderate improvements. It's natural for politicians, on their four or five year cycles, to avoid these investments. The result is a crisis, a sudden influx of megabucks and rising costs to pay for it. Happens with water, sewage, power transmission.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:41 am
 


Zipperfish wrote:
Happens with water, sewage, power transmission.


. . .roads, schools, pandemic mitigation . . .


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