Rate Proposal Would Keep the Cost of New York City's Award-winning Tap Water Well Below the National Average

April 29, 2022

Proposed package keeps rates affordable while ensuring funding for critical drinking water, stormwater and wastewater projects

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today proposed a 4.90 percent increase for the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) water rate to the New York City Water Board. The proposed rate would keep the cost of water in New York City well below the national average and the rate of inflation. Mayor Adams has continued the City’s policy of rental payment relief into FY23, allowing the City’s water system to maintain more funding to help support critical programs while keeping rates low for residents, property owners, and businesses. The proposed rate increase is subject to review and approval by the Water Board.

The proposal retains the $10 million customer affordability program expansion approved by the Water Board last year—a 50 percent increase in program funds compared to earlier funding levels—allowing for the continuation of existing affordability programs for low-income homeowners and multi-family housing properties. In addition, the proposal recommends freezing the minimum charge at $1.27 per day for the seventh consecutive year for those customers, primarily seniors, who use fewer than approximately 90 gallons per day.

“Fully funding the City’s critical drinking water, stormwater and wastewater systems while keeping costs for New Yorkers well below the national average is a testament to effective management of the system and to Mayor Adams’ commitment to return the rental payment and ensure water bills fund the water system only,” said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “We are also pleased to extend the 50 percent increase in customer affordability program funds for a second year, to as many as 96,000 low-income, senior, and disabled customers, as well as providing bill credits to keep up to 48,000 multi-family housing units affordable.”

bar chart showing NYC rate increases each years since 2009


If the 4.90 percent proposed water rate increase is adopted by the Board:

  • A typical single-family homeowner will see an increase from $994/year to $1,041/year for water and sewer bills—an increase of $3.90/month (based on an average consumption of 70,000 gallons of water per year).
  • A typical multi-family unit with metered billing will see an increase from $738/year/unit to $773/year/unit—an increase of $2.90/month (based on an average consumption of 52,000 gallons of water per year).


DEP is focused on maintaining a package of rates and billing policies that keep costs at a reasonable level for customers facing affordability challenges. The customer affordability program expansions approved last year are proposed to be retained for FY23:

  • Extension into a second year of the Home Water Assistance Program expansion, which will make available $14 million to provide a bill credit of $145 to up to 96,000 low-income households. Customers do not need to apply or take other action to receive the credit, since DEP and the Water Board work with other governmental entities to identify eligible properties. The program was first introduced for FY 2015 and has been presented to the Water Board for reauthorization and a continued funding expansion in FY23.
  • Extension into a second year of the Multifamily Water Assistance Program expansion, which provides a bill credit of $250 per affordable residential unit, will make up to $12 million of program funds available to as many as 48,000 units located in multifamily properties with at least fifteen years remaining on a rental affordability agreement with either the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the NYC Housing Development Corporation. The program was first implemented for FY 2018 and has been presented to the Water Board for reauthorization and a funding expansion in FY23. The ranking formula first introduced in FY 2019, that allocates credits by assigning a preference to the most affordable units based on area median income, would continue to be used in FY23.
  • Freezing the minimum charge. Customers who use less than approximately 90 gallons per day of water are billed at the minimum water charge of $1.27 per day, including wastewater charges. DEP proposes to freeze the minimum charge for the seventh consecutive year, benefitting many single-family homeowners, including many senior citizens. For customers billed based on the minimum charge, the annual water and sewer bill is $464 per year.

In addition, Mayor Adams is not requesting a Rental Payment from the water system for FY23.


NYC water rates are approximately 20 percent below the average for the thirty largest U.S. cities.


The Water Board is responsible for considering and adopting water and wastewater rates following DEP’s proposal and subsequent public hearings. The New York City Water Board has scheduled two public hearings via conference call for the upcoming FY23 water rate proposal:

  • Wednesday, May 25 at 2pm: 347-921-5612, access code 835 020 477 #
  • Thursday, May 26 at 6pm: 347-921-5612, access code 941 587 106 #

Following the public hearings, the Water Board will meet to consider and vote on a new package of rates and customer affordability programs for FY23:

  • Wednesday, June 1 at 1pm: 347-921-5612, access code 427 762 372 #

The public is welcome to submit written testimony or comments to the Board by email at nycwaterboard@dep.nyc.gov, or by mail to NYC Water Board, 59-17 Junction Blvd., 8th Floor, Flushing, NY 11373. Following the public hearing, the Water Board will meet on June 1st to consider and adopt FY23 rates; new rates would become effective on July 1, 2022.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water each day to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.8 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP also protects the health and safety of New Yorkers by enforcing the Air and Noise Codes and asbestos rules. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.