Consumers don’t grasp water costs
A survey shows little understanding among consumers about water rates.
Typical water consumers have little to no understanding of the difference between the rates they pay and what it costs utilities to provide the water and wastewater services.
That’s the general consensus from 85 percent of utility and water professionals recently surveyed for a Black & Veatch industry analysis.
The Overland Park, Kan.-based engineering firm’s first U.S. Water Utility Industry Report, released this week, surveyed 365 water and utility professionals between Feb. 22 and March 13. Respondents represented utilities serving customers in 45 states. See the full report.
The same survey found that nearly 50 percent of the water industry leaders believe that customers “will probably be willing to pay higher rates needed to pay for capital improvements,” according to a release.
The water and wastewater industry is grappling with costly Environmental Protection Agency-mandated improvements to aging infrastructure, with many systems floating rate increases as the solution.
The survey found that despite financing concerns, most utilities aren’t considering alternative forms of financing, such as public-private partnerships.
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