The full economic effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is still unknown at this point. However, economists predict varying degrees of economic downturn. To compound the issue, oil producing regions are contending with the price of oil bottoming out at the same time. Although there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to the future … Read more Cost of Infrastructure Fluctuates During Economic Slowdowns
Utility managers and decision makers know that saving for the future is important. The question is not whether to do it, but to what level. What is the magic number? In the absence of a crystal ball, we are left to estimate future capital investment needs based on a series of assumptions. This becomes a … Read more Reserves: Identification and Justification of Your System’s Capital Reserve Funding Goals
Shifting climate patterns and periods of drought and excessive precipitation appear to becoming increasingly extreme, posing continual challenges such as physical setbacks in the agricultural industry and social challenges associated with extreme weather conditions. In the water industry, we find ourselves simultaneously working toward solutions to conditions of both too little water and too much … Read more Money Down the Drain
According to the results of the 2019 AE2S Utility Rate Survey, it is most common for systems to utilize a combination of fixed and variable charges in its utility rate structures – particularly for drinking water rates. Just 1.1% of municipal survey respondents of all sizes are using a fixed charge (with no volumetric charge) … Read more Water and Wastewater Rate-Setting: Fixed Charge Considerations
I was recently reminded of how easy it is to take the tap for granted, while visiting my sister and brother-in-law. The polar vortex tested their water line and won, at least temporarily. That made for some tense times and a renewed appreciation for the convenience of running water. If we consider that a gallon … Read more Polar Vortex a Chilly Reminder of the Value of Water
Affordability and revenue stability are two of the topics that often weigh heavily on the minds of utility managers and policy makers. As two equally important issues, it can be challenging to meet both due to potentially opposing objectives. The most straight-forward path to achieving a high level of revenue stability is to rely heavily … Read more 2018 Rate Survey – Fixed Charges: What’s the Right Amount?