What should a utility manager do in order to convince a board or council of elected officials of the need to raise water rates? We identified 10 actionable tips based on statistical analysis of survey results of more than 1,400 local governments across the United States that were successful in raising water rates.
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.
In many states, ask a water utility manager the hardest part of her job and she will probably say it is facing the board/council/commissioners to ask for yet “another” rate increase! But, rate increases should happen “slowly, but surely.” At least under normal circumstances, the recommended practice is to raise rates by a little, but often enough to keep up with the rising costs of managing water resources and running a utility. So, this is, in essence, more bad news for the shy manager… not only should he request rate increases from his governing body, but he should do so often!