To improve the country’s smallest water systems – those serving fewer than 10,000 people – the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $2 million to the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Environmental Finance Center and the Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona conducted a water and wastewater rates survey of over 400 utilities in the state of Arizona. We used this data to create a summary report, interactive Rates Dashboard, and other resources to assist utilities and their stakeholders in analyzing and benchmarking their current rates and financial condition.
Through the Smart Management for Small Water Systems project, the EFC works to improve the financial and managerial capabilities of the nation's smallest, most plentiful, and neediest public water systems - those serving fewer than 10,000 people.
The EFC’s new easy-to-use Excel tool guides a utility to assess the relative affordability of its water and wastewater rates on its residential customers using multiple metrics. Affordability is assessed for the average customer, low-income customers and a full range of households based on their various income levels. The tool also allows for a new rate structure to be entered to see how affordability compares from one rate structure to the next.
Measuring & Mitigating Water Revenue Variability: Understanding How Pricing Can Advance Conservation Without Undermining Utilities' Revenue Goals
As water utilities across North America undertake capital campaigns to finance the replacement and expansion of their systems, the need for confident revenue projections grows. Yet many water utilities are subject to factors that can affect revenue variability, including volatile weather patterns and a growing imperative to conserve scarce water resources.
With support from the ADEM, the EFC surveyed the water and wastewater rates of over 450 utilities in Alabama. With this data, the EFC produced an interactive rates dashboard that allows utilities and their stakeholders to compare and benchmark rates, utility finances, and other characteristics. A summary report describes trends in rates and rate structures across Alabama and answers frequently asked questions about what utilities are charging.