As rain amounts fall, water bills rise

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - As our rain amounts continue to fall, the rate we pay for water keeps going up.

41 Action News discovered since the beginning of the year, several utility companies in the Kansas City area raised their rates.

From a spray, to a sprinkle, no matter how often you water you don't have a choice over the price you pay per gallon.

Walt Jones lives in Platte County which is in the Missouri American Water District. Last month, his water bill was $570.

"When I saw that I thought I ought to check into what other people are paying, because that seemed pretty high," Jones said.

His bill last month added up to 65,500 gallons.

Walt does water his lawn four times a week. But when he asked a friend, who lives in Overland Park and used 10,000 fewer gallons, their bill was less than $250 dollars.

"You know that's half my price!" Jones said.

Jones stayed on track with his weekly watering. But, he called Missouri American Water to get an answer.

"The reason why their bill costs were so much higher, or were just high, was that they have to cover their expenses for capital expenditures for infrastructure improvements and that we should understand that," Jones said.

Many utilities in Kansas and Missouri raised their rates this year. But when you compare them, Missouri American Water is more than twice the price.

41 Action News reached out to Missouri American Water for a response. They said they are a private utility, so rates are determined by the Missouri Public Service Commission. Additionally, they said the rates vary depending on the improvements and operating costs made in each of the districts they serve.

"I still just don't quite buy the fact that their prices are so much higher and why that would be," Jones said.

Those improvements are to an aging water system that is only going to become more costly over the next few years.

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