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Building Consensus during the Development of a Uniform Wholesale Water Contract

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The City of Fort Worth Water Department is developing a new wholesale water contract with uniform terms and rate computations for its 30 wholesale water customers. The city's extremely diverse wholesale customer base includes the largest airport in Texas, as well as communities with populations that range from more than 125,000 to less than 5,000. The challenge facing the City of Fort Worth is to craft a new contract that can be agreed upon by all existing customers and that also has the flexibility to integrate new customers in the future.

This presentation/paper will identify the steps taken by Fort Worth and R. W. Beck in developing a new wholesale water contract with uniform agreement terms and rate formulas for all customers. Individual interviews and group workshops were proactively used to maintain an open dialog, solicit input, and keep each customer informed. The presenters/authors will discuss their approach to engaging their customers in the contract development process, listening to and incorporating their concerns, and building consensus toward a successful outcome. The ultimate goal of the process was to develop a contract that fairly balanced both the customer and the Fort Worth's objectives.
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Keywords: Customer satisfaction; financial viability; stakeholder understanding and support; water resource adequacy

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2010

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