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Costs and Customer Expectations Test Water Industry Utilities - 2016 Strategic Directions Report

Costs and Customer Expectations Test Water Industry Utilities - 2016 Strategic Directions Report

In this report, learn more about…

Communicating with the Customer 
Public trust in government and municipal services is a critical, though fragile, construct. Tax and usage fee-paying customers expect that their funds are being used to create and operate reliable, safe and secure water systems.
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The Art of Financing the Future  
Our report explores the nascent but growing popularity of alternative financing schemes, particularly the rise of public-private partnerships as a way to join eager private investors with increasing public needs. The strategies employed in international markets – particularly Asia, Australia and Canada – may offer lessons for U.S. providers as they strive to balance revenues and infrastructure requirements.
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Tools to Close the Gap
A sustainable future for the water industry includes applying the lessons learned by its electric and natural gas counterparts to address cost and aging infrastructure challenges. It means that the utility proactively collaborates with municipalities and its customers to build longer-term roadmaps. It means exploring alternative finance structures. It also requires embracing innovation.
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Concluding Thoughts
While customer engagement on this crucial issue of cost carries risk on many levels, it is a conversation that must happen if the nation is to finally address its outdated systems. The scale and nature of the challenges in the water industry – from climate change to legacies of underinvestment – call for alignment, leadership, shared responsibilities and collaboration that goes beyond business-as-usual. [Tweet This] 
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2016 Strategic Directions: U.S. Water Report


Many, if not all, of the issues considered most important to the water industry in 2016 seem to pull hard on a single thread: cost. The cost of addressing outdated systems at a time when traditional revenue streams are drying up and/or the political cost of pitching rate cases or alternative financing strategies to skeptical stakeholders. The cost of water as it's widely perceived by the public, whose understanding of the resources needed to treat and deliver a safe supply may compete with the industry's ever-growing ‰ÛÒ and deferred ‰ÛÒ maintenance bill.

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