The Cost of Cheap Water

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What we pay for water doesn't reflect how scarce it is with climate change. Could cities get people to use less water by charging more for it? Decades ago, Tucson did this, and it worked. But the political consequences may have scared off other cities. Now, in an increasingly dire situation along the Colorado River, what if a bunch of cities priced water differently, to change our behavior? Part 7 of a 10-part series.

For more CPR News coverage of the Colorado River, visited

Host: Michael Elizabeth Sakas
Written by Rachel Estabrook
Editors: Erin Jones, Joe Wertz
Production and Mixing: Rebekah Romberg
Theme song by Kibwe Cooper. Additional music via Universal Production Music.
Artwork: Maria Juliana Pinzón
Executive Producers: Kevin Dale, Brad Turner
Additional Editorial Support: Alison Borden, Kibwe Cooper, Jo Erickson, Luis Antonio Perez, Taylar Dawn Stagner, Andrew Villegas
Thanks also to Sarah Bures, Hart Van Denburg, Jodi Gersh, Kim Nguyen, Clara Shelton, Arielle Wilson.
Parched is a production of the Climate Solutions team of CPR News and Colorado Public Radio’s Audio Innovations Studio — part of the NPR Network.

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