Thinking About Creating A Regional Utility? Here Are Three Things To Consider
By Jason Mumm and Marilynn Robinson
Decentralization may be the wave of the future, but only if the shoe fits.
In September 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed something many Americans already sensed — income levels throughout the U.S. had and were continuing to fall. Around the same time, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released a report projecting spending for local water and wastewater utilities would triple or quadruple to as much as $4.8T over the next 20 years in order to address needed infrastructure improvements.
These economic indicators show that the affordability of services is and will likely remain one of the most challenging issues for water and wastewater utility managers and local elected officials. Traditionally, increasing rates served as the approach for addressing funding gaps; however, with strains on income levels in the U.S., utilities are seeking economies of scale to create meaningful and sustainable solutions that reduce the burdens on rates.