Keeping Pace with Water and Wastewater Rates
Water and wastewater treatment and delivery are the most capital-intensive of all utility services. The literature indicates that historically underpriced water and wastewater rates have exhibited steadily high growth in the past fifteen years, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of water and sewerage maintenance has outpaced the general CPI by an increasingly wide margin. This paper employs a chained analysis method to examine water and wastewater rates for a group of utilities across U.S. census regions between 2000 and 2014. Results demonstrate that water and wastewater prices for this sample group have consistently increased and have surpassed CPI growth since 2006. Current and upcoming challenges facing water and wastewater utilities suggests that rate increases are likely to continue in the foreseeable future.