Advance Water Equity
Sustainably align system operation with stakeholder policy objectives.
For a majority of the world, water rates are increasing rapidly to keep pace with the need for continued investment in water systems. These rate increases routinely outpace the rate of local inflation, and economically disadvantaged populations and families on fixed incomes can struggle with the affordability of water and wastewater services. Given that many water utilities are either directly supervised by local governments or are contracted to them, the affordability of water services, and the equitable distribution of cost recovery across various segments of the population, are critical policy issues for utility leaders.
In response, utility managers are developing strategies for water equity by optimizing capital and operational spending, and by targeting customer engagement and affordability as a strategic policy objective to secure the utility’s social license to operate as a valued partner to the community.
Affordability and water equity programs typically include some or all of the following elements:
- Engagement of a consultant to develop rate structures that allocate cost recovery across consumers consistent with state and local regulations and policy objectives
- A voluntary surcharge that funds a community assistance program for ratepayers in distress
- Disconnect and/or reconnect fees for users that have fallen into arrears on payment
- Hardship programs that are often underfunded and struggle to reach participants in need
Download our brochure to learn how your utility can harness the power of decision intelligence to advance water equity.