CNT’s mission to make cities work for everyone is realized in small part through the buy-in and support of local communities we serve alongside. With collaboration and support from individuals in the RainReady Robbins Steering Committee, CNT recently published a report on the pricing of residential drinking water in Robbins, Illinois. The primarily African-American residents of this community pay a higher rate for water than 80% of all municipalities in the region.
The Village of Robbins is part of a national counterintuitive trend of rising per-gallon water bills in low-income communities. This trend is largely due to lower water sales resulting from local population decreases likely caused by a lack of local opportunity. With fewer people, each household must pay more to maintain the same infrastructure.
Despite a mounting debt challenge to repair and advance existing infrastructure, hope is not lost. With the motivated residents and engaged community leaders of Robbins, there are several efforts to reverse current pricing problems as well as incentivize the reduction of water usage. This publication gives recommendations that are applicable both to the Village of Robbins and other communities.