Keeping the Water On: Addressing the Water Affordability Crisis in the Wake of COVID-19

Lunchtime Forum


Water running out of a tap
Photo by Flickr user _katattack

The affordability of drinking water was already a problem before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting economic crisis has only served to accelerate and deepen the plight for California residents. The state issued a temporary moratorium on water shutoffs in April 2020 that protected customers unable to pay their bills, but what will happen when that moratorium ends? With unpaid bills exceeding $1 billion, how will water agencies react, and what will the 1.6 million customers who carry a balance do if they cannot pay the large debts — some as high as $15,000 — that they face? Come discuss the policy solutions that will preserve the financial health of water utilities while maintaining precious access to drinking water for our fellow Californians.

Co-presented by APA Northern California. AICP CM credits are available.

+ Senator Bill Dodd / California State Senate
+ Laurel Firestone / California Water Board
+ Eric Sandler / San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
+ Clifford Chan / East Bay Municipal Utility District
+ Laura Feinstein / SPUR




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