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Even in spite of heavy rainfall and flooding in January of 2022, weather experts have been quick to point out that the drought in California will continue to persist for the foreseeable future.

That doesn't just spell trouble for the environment. Recent years have seen increasing hardship for California residents, too, even as many people have made efforts to reduce their water usage. Here, we'll dive into some of the factors affecting the California water crisis.

The Cost of Water in California Is Rising

By now, most Californians are familiar with the signs and public information campaigns urging people to conserve water by reducing their consumption.

In spite of that, however, some areas have still witnessed the average water bill in California continue to climb.

Industry experts explain that this is essentially due to companies passing their own costs on to customers. Although demand for water may be decreasing, many of the costs that water suppliers incur remain the same. To break even, they must then increase their revenue somehow.

Californians Are Being Disproportionately Affected

The rising cost of water is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, hotter temperatures caused by the same drought often result in a concomitant rise in other utility bills (like electricity) as people struggle to stay cool.

In addition to that, the people who are most affected by rising water bills are people who are already at a financial disadvantage. Namely, that includes low-income families and people of color. One article by the LA Times noted that it is the "13 million Californians living in low-income households who bear the brunt of soaring water costs."

Help Is Available

For those who qualify, there is some relief in sight. The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program(LIHWAP) offers qualifying households help in the form of a one-time payment on overdue water or sewage bills. For more information on LIHWAP or to determine your eligibility, contact Spectrum today.

Spectrum Community Services is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income families, seniors, and individuals in Alameda County. Through financial assistance and other services, our goal is to support community members in building healthy, safe, and independent lives. Contact us to learn more about our services, including Connect, or consider making a donation to support our work. We can't wait to work with you!