Category: Drinking Water & Wastewater (page 1 of 37)

Exploring Public Fire Protection Charges in Wisconsin

In addition to Rates Dashboards, the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill regularly publishes tables of water rates and rate structures of various states. Last month, in addition to tables of water and wastewater rates, the EFC at UNC also published tables of public fire protection charges in Wisconsin as of January 2018. These data tables are one of several products created from data for water rates and rate structures of 575 water utilities throughout the state of Wisconsin. The data tables list each utility’s residential water rate structure details, monthly-equivalent bills computed at different consumption levels, and public fire protection charge information.

This post explores what fire protection charges are, how they are collected, and how system size plays a role.

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Four Federal Water Infrastructure Funding Programs to Watch

The White House’s Legislative Outline for Rebuilding Infrastructure in America, which was released early this year, outlines the President’s proposed steps to encourage increased state, local, and private investment in infrastructure. And though you’ve probably heard a lot about it, chances are you haven’t had the time to read and reflect on the 55 page document. So what might the President’s plan mean for infrastructure in your community? While the plan outlines programs for infrastructure of all sectors, this post provides a quick overview of the four proposed programs with relevance to water infrastructure.

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What’s on our Environmental Finance Reading List

Can’t get enough of environmental finance blog posts and articles? Check out our list of blogs and newsletters that we’re following along as well. Ranging from local government finance strategies to water and sanitation for health issues, these are just a few of our favorites:

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Clean Water Access Challenges in the United States

Water and sanitation access challenges are often thought of in the extremeslack of a clean water source in a village or community or lack of indoor plumbing in homes. But the reality is that many individuals living in or around some of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the United States, with some of the most sophisticated drinking water and wastewater systems and infrastructure, suffer from significant access challenges as well.

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Local Government Financial Resilience and Preparation Before a Natural Disaster

The 2017 U.S. Atlantic hurricane season is officially the most expensive ever, amounting to $202.6 billion in damages across the Atlantic basin. This record-breaking hurricane season brought some of the most catastrophic storms in recent memory. As Hurricane Katrina reshaped New Orleans in 2005, the destruction induced by Harvey, Irma, and Maria will have lasting consequences for cities and towns in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. The devastation is likely to be even more long-lasting for many of the hardest hit small islands across the Caribbean. And hurricanes are not the only natural disasters with a hefty price tag; drought, freezing temperatures, severe storms, wildfires, and winter storms cause billions of dollars in damages every year.

As a result of rapid urbanization, climate change, and increases in population and material wealth continue to mount, municipalities are becoming extremely vulnerable to natural disasters, making it necessary for local governments to become more resilient to catastrophes. Natural disaster resiliency often focuses on the built environment and hazard mitigation, but what about weathering the storm from a financial perspective? The following tips can help a local government be financially resilient in the face of a natural disaster: Continue reading

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