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Proactive Financial Responses Improve Performance During Challenging Financial Times

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Most wastewater, water, and stormwater utilities face substantially increased financial challenges today, as the global financial crisis of 2008 & 2009 translates into greater financial uncertainties. Regulatory drivers such as CSO/SSO requirements for wastewater utilities are requiring many utility systems to ramp up capital spending at a time when system usage is down, and revenues therefore reduced. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, “the Stimulus Bill”), provided only $6 billion in resources to address water and wastewater infrastructure needs at a time when there are hundreds of billions of dollars of need. At the same time, funding options for many utility systems have decreased rather than increased, as access to the traditional bond markets is uncertain due to global market conditions.

More than ever, utilities need creative solutions that balance utility financing needs with a community's capacity to provide funding. This paper identifies examples of proactive strategies that utilities can employ improve their financial situation and manage the risks associated with today's financial uncertainties.

Keywords: CIP prioritization; finance; financial planning; strategic planning; utility management

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864710798286678

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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