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To access the full report and associated tools, visit the Water Research Foundation website.

The Environmental Finance Center and the Water Research Foundation partnered to produce a new report that helps utilities address the challenges of revenue gaps, which are exacerbated by rising customer expectations, declining water consumption, aging infrastructure, and necessary integration of utility finance functions with asset management, environmental justice, risk management, and other initiatives. The products of this project lay the groundwork for a shift in thinking by utilities to modernize financial and management practices by strengthening linkages among systems, processes, and decision-making practices.

This report provides a large-scale, quantitative analysis of the financial reality of water utilities. In its entirety, the report serves as a utility financial review, grounded in practical and applied approaches to securing revenue resiliency. It brings together a myriad of datasets and reports that, taken together, combine to refliect current trends and practices in revenue resiliency.

In addition to the research report, the project produced two tools for utilities: a Revenue Risk Assessment Tool and Customer Assistance Program Cost Estimation Tool. Both tools and accompanying tutorial videos are available on the Water Research Foundation website.

The report includes 5 detailed chapters:

1. Background and Methodology

2. Assessing the Revenue Resilience of the Industry’s Business Model

Trends in Financial Performance
Pricing Trends and Financial Resilience

3. Factors Influencing Revenue Resiliency

Service Area Size and Diversity
Water Use and Weather
Economic Conditions
Capacity Utilization
Economic Regulation and Governance
Financial Management Strategies
Credit Rating Agencies

4. Strategies and Practices for Revenue Resiliency

Demand Projections
Alternative Rate Designs
Rate Stabilization Reserves
Rethinking Utility Services
Financial Performance Targets
Customer Affordability/Assistance Programs
Rate Adjustment Approaches

5. Conclusions and Recommendations

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