It has been suggested recently that water and sewage utilities move to “full-cost” accounting as a means of addressing some of the challenges facing them. However, there are disagreements regarding how to implement this concept, and few estimates exist that show the impact of such a change.
This article presents the main policy research issues related to the application of selected economic instruments (EIs) for water demand management. It builds on the papers presented at the Policy Research Initiative’s Symposium on economic instruments for water demand management.
Within the next 10 years, 35 percent of current utility employees will be eligible for retirement. Most of these retirees are senior employees, with many years experience and a wealth of institutional and operational knowledge. Concerned about this brain drain, the AWWA Research Foundation and the Water Environment Research Foundation co-funded a study titled Succession Planning for a Vital Workforce in the Information Age.
The authors provide an overview of the top ten water utility future trends identified through an assessment of the literature, interviews with public water supply community leaders, and a futures workshop featuring futurists and scenario planning exercises.
Scenario planning is a powerful tool that can be used by strategic planners to frame the future, and is useful in guiding representatives of the public water supply community when planning for future uncertainty.
The Irrigation Industry Association of British Columbia (IIABC) has created an online Landscape Irrigation Scheduling Calculator to help irrigators develop water-efficient irrigation schedules. By entering basic information about climate, landscape types, soil conditions, crop root depth, and irrigation system type and spacing, irrigators can determine the optimum number of days to water, the irrigation run time for each day, and the maximum run time per cycle.
In 2004, the City of Williams Lake undertook a major review of its water utility and associated management practices. The resulting documents—the “Williams Lake Water Conservation Plan” and the “Waterworks Bylaw”—identify water management and water conservation strategies that will protect and preserve our valuable water resource well into the future.
The term 'natural capital' refers to a region’s natural, environmental, and ecosystem resources, and land. It is capital because it contributes goods and services necessary for environmental and economic health. In addition to some of the more obvious benefits of environmental conservation such as habitat preservation, flood control, and ensuring water quality, there are significant financial benefits. Assigning a monetary value to our natural resources creates another motivation for environmental preservation and restoration.