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In many areas of the United States, water is not only in short supply, but becoming a chronic problem. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at least 36 states have experienced or can anticipate some type of local, regional, or even statewide water shortage this year and into at least the first half of next year. Water issues and shortages are already having a significant impact on both consumers and commercial facilities such as office buildings.
First and foremost, water is getting more and more expensive. In Chicago and neighboring communities that depend on the city for their water supply, a 25 percent rate increase took effect January 1, 2012. The rate went up again in 2013 by 15 percent, and will increase again in 2014. That’s a 55 percent rate increase over a three-year period. Even though American municipalities have traditionally underpriced water, a 55 percent rate increase in such a short amount of time is an indication that a serious problem exists—with no resolution in sight.