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STRATEGIC PLANNING BY WATER UTILITIES: A REVIEW OF PRIVATE SECTOR AND LEADING WATER UTILITIES' EXPERIENCE

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Over at least the last decade of the 20th century, an increasingly dynamic, competitive, and complex marketplace has transformed the relatively stable water and wastewater industry. Assumptions of unchallenged monopoly, relatively low rates, and an unobtrusive presence in the community are no longer tenable in an environment of rapidly escalating costs, public interest, and competition. Historic perspectives embracing preservation of the status quo must be modified, if not abandoned entirely. Rather, water and wastewater utilities must define and implement strategies that convey value and reliability, blunt competition, and are responsive to changing market conditions.

This paper reviews the experience of select private sector organizations and leading water utilities in conducting strategic planning processes and the characteristics of the resultant strategic plans. It reports and builds upon recent AwwaRF sponsored research related to the development of a strategic planning process, and it outlines the potential application of strategic planning principles to current and emerging utility management challenges.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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