Tag: funding (page 1 of 2)

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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Four Trends in Government Spending on Water and Wastewater Utilities Since 1956

According to data collected and published by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), federal, state and local governments in the United States spent more than $2.2 trillion in the last 59 years on operations, maintenance and capital infrastructure of water and wastewater utilities. That equates to more than $4,131,000,000,000 in 2014 dollars, adjusting for inflation of infrastructure-specific costs. Following our earlier blog post demonstrating that federal spending on water and wastewater utilities decreased since the 1980s, we analyzed the data and identified 4 more trends in how government spending on utilities changed between 1956 and 2014.

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Effective Utility Management

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Guest author Catherine Noyes is an Associate Consultant at Raftelis Financial Consultants.

Through the 1960s, the utility business was all about protecting public health – making sure that technology was in place to ensure safe and reliable water and wastewater service to a growing population.  In the 1970s, the focus on public health was expanded to include the environment.  The EPA was established, and the federal government enacted legislation to protect clean air and water.  With this legislation came large federal grants, which funded expansions to the nation’s water and sewer infrastructure. Continue reading

Right-sizing Reserve Funds

Jeff Hughes is the Director of the Environmental Finance Center.

“How much should our utility maintain in reserves?”  This is one of the most common questions I get from utility managers during my finance courses. It is also one of the most difficult questions to answer.  Just calculating how much a utility has in reserve and what it can be used for can be challenging given the diversity of labels and descriptions given to reserves.

 

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“One Oar in the Water”

Daniel Kolomeets-Darovsky is an Environmental Finance Analyst with the Environmental Finance Center.

stephen schiller / Free Photos

 

Defining a resilient business model for water utilities is no easy task in a time of unprecedented economic conditions, scare capital, and increasingly volatile environmental conditions. Everything seems to fly in the face of it, let alone the necessary informational foundation needed to see what’s really going on behind-the-scenes. How do we even know, for instance, that residential water use is declining in a place like North Carolina? What about how well your local utility is running its business, as measured by money it takes in versus money it spends (operating revenues versus operating expenditures)?

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