New Video Series on Financial Topics for Water Utilities, their Boards, and Funders

Water utility governing boards serve a critical role in ensuring the provision of clean, safe drinking water. Governing boards are tasked with making important and complex decisions in line with the utility’s mission, and they ultimately serve to keep water utilities accountable to the public. One of the most important roles of a governing board is to protect the utility’s long-term financial health and sustainability. Yet water utility governing board members don’t always have a background in finance or a strong understanding of key financial issues that impact the utility.

A new series of educational videos produced by the Environmental Finance Center at UNC Chapel Hill, with support from the Water Research Foundation, offers an engaging, accessible, and easily shareable resource on financial management topics designed specifically for water utility governing boards. The Water₡lips© Video Series describes challenges faced by water utilities across the country using eye catching visualizations and easy to understand explanations of concepts that can otherwise be daunting.

New Tool Helps Utilities Assess the Affordability of Water and Wastewater Service

When the five small water systems in Hampton County, South Carolina decided to band together to create the Lowcountry Regional Water System (LRWS), they, like many other small water systems across the country, faced a number of managerial and financial obstacles. Among these challenges were a flat growth rate, degraded and inadequate infrastructure, artificially low rates, and an economically disadvantaged population. Each of the five communities in this rural county had not only a different rate level, but also a different rate structure, with monthly rates for 5,000 gallons of water and sewer service ranging from as low as $36.50 to as high as $62.67. Whether the rates of the new, regionalized water system were “affordable” for all customers became a top concern for the LRWS.

Webinar: Water & Sewer Rates Analysis Tool

Does your system charge your customers the correct amount for water? This webinar will help systems answer this question by demonstrating the Water & Sewer Rates Analysis Model, an Excel tool developed by the Environmental Finance Center at The University of North Carolina. This free, basic cash-flow modeling tool allows water systems to input their current rate structure, estimates on number of customers and water use, and the expected costs for the system. The tool then automatically projects the end-of-year fund balance for the next several years, indicating whether revenues will be high enough to cover expected expenses. Users can then enter in another rate structure and compare the end-of-year fund balance side-by-side to the one projected using current rates. This allows users to try out scenarios of adjusting their rates to meet their financial goals in the next few years, and can help users determine whether they need to adjust rates, and by how much, in order to achieve financial sufficiency. The tool can be used by systems that set volumetric charges for water as well as systems that only charge flat monthly fees.

Salem, OR Financial Empowerment for Small Water Systems

Double Tree Hotel 1590 Weston Ct NE, Salem, OR 97301 Date: 3/4/2014 Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM The workshop was designed for drinking water systems operators, clerks, treasurers, elected officials and others who have to budget and/or set rates. The objective of the workshop was to provide participants with the financial tools to insure their systems deliver safe reliable water …

Wanatchee, WA HydroDASH Display

Wanatchee Convention Center, Wanatchee WA 98801 Date: 10/22/2013 – 10-24/2013 The Region 10 Environmental Finance Center at Boise State University pioneered the use of financial dashboards among small water systems in the United States. EFC staff will demonstrate the features and benefits of its new web-based dashboard tool, HydroDASH. The HydroDASH tool takes a basic income statement or system budget, and …

Water Efficiency at Drinking Water Systems without Volumetric Charges

All drinking water systems should be concerned about water loss—water that is treated but does not reach an end user because it leaks out through the system’s network of pipes. Water loss wastes both a precious resource (the drinking water) and potentially a lot of money as well (energy use, chemicals, wear and tear on equipment, etc.).

Repeat WEBINAR: Using the HydroDASH for Financial Sustainability

The Region 10 Environmental Finance Center at Boise State University pioneered the use of financial dashboards among small water systems in the United States. In this webinar, EFC staff will demonstrate the features and benefits of its new web-based dashboard tool, HydroDASH. Attendees will see how the HydroDASH tool takes a basic income statement or system budget, and generates powerful financial ratios that show a system’s financial health. This webinar is appropriate for operators of small systems, consultants, engineers, technical assistance providers, and government agencies and trade associations interested in tools available for their clients.

WEBINAR: Using the HydroDASH for Financial Sustainability

The Region 10 Environmental Finance Center at Boise State University pioneered the use of financial dashboards among small water systems in the United States. In this webinar, EFC staff will demonstrate the features and benefits of its new web-based dashboard tool, HydroDASH. Attendees will see how the HydroDASH tool takes a basic income statement or system budget, and generates powerful financial ratios that show a system’s financial health. This webinar is appropriate for operators of small systems, consultants, engineers, technical assistance providers, and government agencies and trade associations interested in tools available for their clients.