Three Strategies to Reduce Costs: Purchasing Partnerships for Water Systems

Written by: Lauren Joca Lauren Joca is a student intern at the UNC Environmental Finance Center pursing a Master’s degree in the School of Public Health and the Department of City and Regional Planning.  Drinking water and wastewater systems may be able to reduce costs bypartnering with other systems. These partnerships can range from informal agreements to the transfer of …

Four Finance Facts About Flint

Written by: Jeff Hughes Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As this blog is being written, water and community managers from across the country are talking about the water crisis that is occurring in Flint, Michigan. The City made a decision several years ago to discontinue buying …

Collaboration Opportunities for Small Drinking Water Systems

West Memphis Public Library 213 N. Avalon St., West Memphis, AR 72301 Date: 4/30/2014 Time: 10:30 AM – 1:00 PM Almost all systems face difficulties meeting regulatory compliance, providing excellent customer service, and managing their assets in the current climate of extremely limited dollars.  Small water systems face even greater difficulties since they have much more limited personnel and financial resources, often …

Multiple Options for Small Drinking Water System Partnerships

Drinking water systems of all sizes can benefit from partnering with other water systems in many ways. Small drinking water systems in particular are most able to benefit from partnerships because of the issues they face with economies of scale, access to capital, and use of trained operators. Physical interconnections between systems—pipes that bring water regularly, periodically, or during emergencies from one water system to another—are perhaps what most people think about when they hear “water system partnerships.” Systems interested in physical interconnections should ensure that the contract governing the interconnection is comprehensive, and many small drinking water systems have used physical interconnections to help bring down their cost of service.

Sioux Falls, SD Regional Cooperation – Asset Management

City of Sioux Falls, Public Works, Water Division 2100 North Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57104 Date: 02/25/2014 Time: 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM This workshop was part of our Regional Cooperation work in South Dakota designed to utilize Performance Based Training. The topic for the workshop series was Asset Management.

Sioux Falls, SD Regional Cooperation – Asset Management

City of Sioux Falls, Public Works, Water Division 2100 North Minnesota Avenue, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57104 Date: 01/28/2014 Time: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM This workshop was part of our Regional Cooperation work in South Dakota designed to utilize Performance Based Training. The topic for the workshop series was Asset Management.

WEBINAR: Water System Partnerships & Regionalization – Water Supply

Often small systems are reluctant to consider regionalization or collaborative approaches to solving problems because they fear the loss of autonomy. This webinar will showcase one regionalization/collaboration option used by a group of water systems in central Texas. These systems found a way to work together to solve common problems while also maintaining a high degree of autonomy.

WEBINAR: Water System Partnerships & Regionalization – The Water Company Model

Small drinking water systems have many options for partnership and regionalization. This webinar will explore the water company model, where a single entity centrally manages several water systems that are not necessarily physically interconnected. Through central management, the water company is able to control costs, access certified system operators and achieve economies of scale for the small systems it operates. The webinar will feature one water company, Aqua North Carolina, that manages almost 800 public water systems in the state. We will discuss the advantages and challenges of the water company model and highlight what makes a system attractive for a water company to acquire. This particular regionalization model may be most attractive to system managers that want to transfer their assets to another system but do not have a viable local option for a physical interconnection.

WEBINAR: Water System Partnerships & Regionalization – System Mergers

Small water systems should consider various methods of partnering with other water systems as a way to control costs. One option for systems is to merge with either one or multiple other systems to form a new, larger entity that is more able to take advantage of economies of scale. This webinar will highlight the creation of the Lowcountry Regional Water System in South Carolina from five small town systems in Hampton County and will focus on the financial advantages and challenges of system mergers.

WEBINAR: Water System Partnerships & Regionalization – Inter-system agreements

Small water systems should consider various methods of partnering with other water systems as a way to control costs. One common way for systems to partner is to construct a physical interconnection with another system to buy or sell water regularly or for emergencies. The agreement between the two systems that are physically interconnected is controlled by a contract. This webinar will explain tips for making these contracts between water systems successful and will present the guide “Crafting Inter-Local Water Agreements: Tips Relating to Issues You May Not Have Thought of or that You Were Hoping to Avoid,” which was based on a comprehensive review of inter-system water agreements.