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AWE Launches Financing Sustainable Water Initiative to Build Better Rates

The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) has launched Financing Sustainable Water, an initiative created to help water managers build better rate structures that improve revenue stability, yet encourage resource efficiency. Aimed at combating the common misperception that conservation makes rates rise, the Financing Sustainable Water initiative was designed to provide helpful tools and data to water managers, elected officials, and consumers.

"Declining water use is an important accomplishment that is unfortunately not being viewed that way," said AWE President and CEO Mary Ann Dickinson.  "Efficiency remains the most cost-effective way to stretch our current water supplies for growing populations and ensure that expensive new reservoirs, wells and treatment plants do not have to be built. However, utilities are becoming hesitant to invest in efficiency due to the short-term revenue challenges. The solution is not to condemn conservation for reducing water sales, but instead to plan for the financial effects of efficiency and design rate structures that both collect sufficient revenue to cover costs and incentivize the customer to use water wisely."

At www.FinancingSustainableWater.org, water managers can find innovative new resources to support rate setting efforts. A handbook, Building Better Water Rates for an Uncertain World: Balancing Revenue Management, Resource Efficiency and Fiscal Sustainability, provides guidance on developing, evaluating, and implementing efficiency-oriented rate structures.

Managers can also download the new AWE Sales Forecasting and Rate Model, which is the first-ever public domain rate model to incorporate the principles of probability management into rate making.



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