By Elizabeth Zach, RCAC staff writer

Glass of waterAlthough Congress and the White House have assured Americans of a plan to invest in drinking water pipes and sewage treatment plants, both rural and urban communities are for now relying on existing loans and grants. Meanwhile, drinking water costs are rising, albeit incrementally.

The largest price increases are in Arizona and California, states prone to drought, climate change and other threats to the water supply. The response among local leaders there has been to spend billions of dollars on water recycling facilities and distribution systems, to ease drawing on distant rivers and underground water storage. Also to protect pipelines and dams from earthquakes.

“We’re always optimistic for additional funding from Congress,” Kathryn Sorensen, director of the Phoenix Water Services Department, told Circle of Blue. “But in the meantime, we have to provide for our customers here and now.”

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