What we track:
The availability of transparent and consistent water supplier data and information on key indicators across jurisdictions to understand water access, reliability, and affordability.
Access to water data
Many Great Lakes communities struggle with life-altering problems related to water access, including unaffordable water rates and water shutoffs. However, a lack of agreed-upon measurements hinders the ability of stakeholders to understand the reliability and affordability of water services. It is important to address the inconsistency of information that is available or accessible in both the United States and Canada.
This metric is the first step toward a region-wide understanding differences in data availability and transparency among Great Lakes jurisdictions.
Why it matters
Following decades of federal disinvestment, U.S. President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law in November of 2021. While the IIJA will distribute a historic amount drinking water infrastructure funding, it does not fully address the historic inequities and other forces creating substantial water infrastructure repair and replacement needs in the Great Lakes basin. As local governments struggle to fill the funding gap through water rate increases and restructuring, disparities in water access occur. Better and more complete data and information would allow governments to work together to assure water access for all.
This page will showcase the gap between the drinking water infrastructure needs in Great Lakes states against annual amounts of U.S. federal investment in drinking water infrastructure. With assistance, data from Canada and the provinces could be incorporated.
This page will contain several tables comparing available data and information from each Great Lakes jurisdiction. Tables will be prepared by GLC staff and will be reviewed and revised by the water access sub-team.