Affordability and Economic Feasibility


Chromium 6 Economic Feasibility

Complying with drinking water standards, such as California’s anticipated proposed MCL for CrVI, provides important public health protection. However, compliance imposes a cost. For many California households, compliance costs can be significant enough to impose economic hardship. The affordability challenge for water customers is especially evident for those served by small, rural, and tribal water systems (which typically lack economies of scale for compliance-related water treatment), and economically disadvantaged households in larger communities (where incomes cannot keep pace with the elevated cost of living). For these households, economic hardship — a lack of affordability — may take the form of households making health tradeoffs between paying for water services versus paying for medical needs, food, rent or other necessities.

This objective of this study is to explore the affordability issues associated with the upcoming California CrVI MCL, with the intent of revealing how much fiscal assistance would be needed from the state (or other entities) to keep the public health protection provided by the MCL affordable for all the state’s households, regardless of the size of the water system serving them or other factors.

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