Several years ago, at the height of the current drought, the river essentially dried up here, killing off 12,000 of the 100,000 pecan trees that belong to the Leonard family. The nearby town of Goldthwaite, 100 miles northwest of Austin and also dependent on Colorado River water, came within 90 days of losing its water supply altogether.
Designing Water Rate Structures for Conservation and Revenue Stability
Water pricing can be one of the most effective methods to driving conservation and it is also the primary mechanism for recovering the revenue that a water utility needs to protect public health and the environment. The Environmental Finance Center at the University of North Carolina and the Sierra Club, Lone Star Chapter have written a report to help Texas water utilities use their water rates and financial policies to encourage customers to reduce their water use while maintaining the financial viability of the utility.
Webinar Information: UNC and the Sierra Club hosted a webinar on March 19 that focused on the findings and recommendations of our new report that explores the relationship between water pricing, water use, and revenue stability in the State of Texas. The webinar addresses how utilities can strike a balance between conservation and revenue stability and introduce rate structures, billing options, and financial practices that will help utilities advance water conservation objectives without undercutting needed revenue stability.