State of the Water Industry revealed

Source: AWWA Connections, May 25, 2015

The American Water Works Association’s 2015 State of the Water Industry Report comes at a time when utilities are faced with a daunting conundrum: How to pay for more than a trillion dollars in infrastructure renewal, replacement and expansion over the next 25 years during a time of declining water sales and revenues. ….

…So, with nearly three out of every four water utilities in North America reporting flat or declining sales and revenues – largely the result of more efficient appliances and fixtures, rate structures that encourage conservation, and conservation education programs — how will utilities finance impending infrastructure repairs as well as day-to-day operating costs? According to the survey, the top choice among water professionals was shifting from consumption-based fees to fixed fees within rate structures, followed by changes in growth-related fees, shifting rate designs to increasing block-rate structures and increasing financial reserves. Sixteen percent of utility respondents are concerned that they will someday be unable to cover the costs of services and repairs through rates and fees. …