What could make the difference between a utility making it through an event like Hurricane Florence with relatively few impacts, and one that has major, lasting problems?
Imagine two utilities, just over the county line from one another, with the same assets that are exactly the same age, located at the same elevations. Will their ability to provide service after a storm be exactly the same? What type of things might they do before the storm hits to improve the outcome? Continue reading
The State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs have become a well-known financing option for many water and wastewater infrastructure projects across the country. This is mainly due to the longevity of the clean water (CWSRF) and drinking water (DWSRF) programs and the appealing financing options, such as low-interest rates, offered in each state. However, many communities across the country still struggle to obtain this federal money, despite the borrowing incentives, due to capacity at the community level. In 2014, changes in the Clean Water Act permanently added an affordability section to the CWSRF program. On the DWSRF program side, the American Recovery Act of 2009 required states to offer additional forms of subsidization to applicants, including principal forgiveness. This brings up the question: What metrics are states using—or should consider using—to determine principal forgiveness eligibility for low-income communities? Continue reading
Stacey Isaac Berahzer is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, and works from a satellite office in Georgia.
We recently facilitated the first “Peer2Peer Exchange” where utility officials from ten of our partner water utilities on a Water Research Foundation project shared stories about their financial policies. To get discussions kicked off, we asked folks which came first, the “well-managed, financially sound utility” (the chicken) or the “financial policy” (the egg).