NRDC and the National Consumer Law Center’s Water Affordability Advocacy Toolkit aims to help address these challenges.
It offers a menu of state- and local-level policy solutions that directly address household-level affordability for people served by centralized drinking water or wastewater systems.
The Toolkit is informed by the experiences and insights of advocates, activists, and academics across the country. It is designed to help others advocate to policymakers such as utility managers and utility governing boards, local elected officials, state legislatures and state utility commissions, and the courts. Policymakers and utilities can themselves use the Toolkit to better understand problems and solutions that may apply to their communities.
The Toolkit contains a series of modules on specific topics, with each one providing an in-depth explanation of the topic, questions that can help advocates assess gaps in state and local laws and policies, examples of strong state and local programs, policies, and consumer protections from around the country, pitfalls to look out for, and other policy ideas to consider.
The Water Affordability Advocacy Toolkit has two aims.
- First, it seeks to explain many of the most critical challenges related to household-level water affordability that arise throughout the country. The topics concern not only the affordability of water and sewer service but also the consequences to people and communities when bills are unaffordable.
- Second, for each topic, it offers a menu of potential state level and local-level policy solutions and strategies that advocates can consider using—or adapting—to help ensure affordable access to essential water services in their communities, regardless of a household’s ability to pay. The content of the toolkit was informed by conversations with water advocates, activists, and academics across the country. It is informed significantly by their experiences and insights.
Who should use this toolkit?
- This toolkit is intended for those interested in policy reform around water affordability—including drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater utility service. The authors recognize the wealth of knowledge that advocates, activists, and community members already have about water affordability, the urgent need for reform, and effective solutions.
- The toolkit seeks to systematically collect and share information that advocates, activists, and community members can use to help make change. Readers will find ideas, resources, and examples that may help them influence policymakers such as utility officials and governing boards, local elected officials, state legislatures and utility commissions, and courts. Policymakers and utilities, too, can use this toolkit to better understand problems and solutions that may apply to their communities.