The 2019 North Carolina Water and Wastewater Rates Dashboard was deployed just over a month ago, marking another year in a long partnership between the Environmental Finance Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, and the North … Read more
The year 2010 marked the start of an unusual period in the water sector. For five years running, total capital outlays by local governments in the United States on water and wastewater infrastructure declined year after year. This period coincides … Read more
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 … Read more
Earlier, I posted a graph of my household water use for the past few years and challenged our readers to identify as many interesting characteristics about my household as they can. Often, the only data a water utility has on their customers are what they have in their billing records. Other household characteristics, such as size of household, income, age, house and lot size and features, water use behavior and preferences, etc., are very difficult to obtain for each customer. However, as demonstrated by my own personal example, mining the billing data alone can reveal much about each household. Here is what my water use history reveals about my household, and the application of this exercise in water resources and utility finance management.
Are you up for a challenge? I have disclosed in the graph below my own household’s water use between June 2006 and December 2014, as reported on my water bills. Without any more information about my household’s characteristics (except that it is residential, on a single 5/8″ meter, and using drinking water and wastewater service from one utility), this is the extent of knowledge that my utility has about my household. Yet, my water use data – which are present in the utility’s billing records – reveal much about my household. My challenge to you is to look at this graph and identify as many interesting characteristics about my household as you can. Think about it, too, from the perspective of how the utility should interact with my household. I will reveal answers later this week (stay tuned!).
Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Our research shows that water rates have been rising faster than CPI inflation in the past few years for hundreds … Read more
Mary Tiger is the Chief Operating Officer of the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina. A few months ago a group of over 20 utility managers from some of the largest water utilities in the country convened in … Read more
Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A couple of months ago, we blogged that water utilities’ operating revenues are generally continuing to grow every year, but … Read more
Shadi Eskaf is a Senior Project Director for the Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina. Previous blog posts (here and here) discussed the fact that per capita water consumption is declining. The financial ramifications can be significant, … Read more