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Water Connection Charges: A Tool for Encouraging Water-Efficient Growth

As many U.S. communities are struggling to support growing populations with limited water resources, very few of them are utilizing water connection charges to increase water-savvy residential development projects in their communities.

As many U.S. communities are struggling to support growing populations with limited water resources, very few of them are utilizing water connection charges to increase water-savvy residential development projects in their communities. So concludes a new report by Western Resource Advocates, Ceres, and the University of North Carolina's Environmental Finance Center evaluating water connection charges used by 800 public water utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina and Utah.

This first-of-its-kind report entitled Water Connection Charges: A Tool for Encouraging Water-Efficient Growth found that 93% of the fee structures in the Southeastern states and 62% of the fee structures in the Western states used uniform water connection charges for single-family homes that took no account of key factors in influencing the design of a home's water footprint. As a result, owners of new homes are typically paying the same amount to be connected to local water systems despite wide-ranging differences in their water use.

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