The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Water Companies Swindle Californians

Nov 7, 2022

Soaring water costs have hit low-income working-class Californians very hard, especially those in rural and semi-rural communities. It is not unusual for a family of four living off a $25,000-a-year income to pay more than $200 a month for water. As a result, more than 10% of all households in California have been falling behind on their water bills. And in several of these communities, the water is also undrinkable, since it is so filled with dangerous chemicals and pollutants.

But that hasn’t stopped water agencies and companies from increasing their prices much faster than the rate of inflation. As the Guardian newspaper found, the price they charge for water increased by an average of 80% between 2010 and 2018.

The state government of California boasts that it was the first state in the country to declare that “every human being has the right to safe, clean, affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption, cooking, and sanitary purposes. The human right to water extends to all Californians, including disadvantaged individuals and groups and communities in rural and urban areas.”

But aside from those high declarations, state officials have done little or nothing to alleviate the problem—leaving millions of people high and dry—and broke and in debt.