Summit Seeks to Develop Water Rates, Revenue Loss, Conservation Solutions
Thought leaders explore new approaches to addressing the ratemaking challenges of tomorrow
The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) is convening a diverse group of leading water experts Arpil 30 to May 2, 2014, in Racine, Wis., to evaluate solutions and develop implementation strategies for addressing the challenges facing the nation’s water suppliers in meeting the diverse objectives of fiscal sustainability, resource efficiency and fair, affordable water pricing that supports revenue stability.
The convening, Financing Sustainable Water: Summit on Aligning Rates, Revenue and Resources, is a follow-up to AWE’s 2012 convening that brought together organizations to discuss the various drivers of declining utility revenues across the country, and opened the door for collaboration among parties.
"This summit with the Johnson Foundation represents the gateway to the next phase of this work, and will help us identify steps and innovations that are needed for water suppliers to secure revenue stability, incentivize water efficiency, and successfully navigate the increasing uncertainty of managing today’s water systems,” said Mary Ann Dickinson, president and CEO of AWE.
Participants come from different regions of the U.S. and include utility managers, economists and advocates. Together they will explore the viability of solutions identified at AWE’s 2012 convening and develop strategies for implementing and propagating them. The summit will also aim to make recommendations on appropriate lessons, research and other next steps for water utilities, regulatory bodies and other relevant stakeholders.
AWE is currently developing a “Solution Set for Aligning Rates, Revenue and Resources,” which is envisioned as a first step in an evolving effort to address challenges and spur adoption of new rate structures and financial management practices that encourage and enable conservation and efficiency programs. The centerpiece of this solution set is a Handbook and Sales Forecasting and Rate Model that will be new, state-of-the-art resources geared toward the water utility manager. The content of the handbook, along with other new or soon-to-be launched rate tools and financial planning resources, will be vetted during the summit.
In 2010, The Johnson Foundation at Wingspread formally launched Charting New Waters as an effort to examine freshwater challenges, successes, innovations and potential solutions that can bridge geographies and inform national policy. Charting New Waters is the work of a diverse group of leaders from business, agriculture, academia and environmental organizations that have publicly committed to improving U.S. freshwater resources by advancing the principles and recommendations of the group. These recommendations were captured in a consensus report: Charting New Waters: A Call to Action to Address U.S. Freshwater Challenges issued in Sept. 2010.